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Ambulance service owner to fight charge
Med-Call president says he did not forge financial statement to mayor and city

By Seth Burkett 340-2355

The attorney for an ambulance service owner said his client intends to fight the charge that he knowingly submitted a fraudulent document to the Decatur City Council.

Decatur police arrested 36-year-old David Oliver Childers, president of Med-Call, on Wednesday. He is accused of turning over a forged financial statement to the mayor and city clerk's offices, and later attesting to its veracity during a council meeting.

Attorney Eric Summerford said Childers is innocent.

"He intended to put forth a valid document to the city of Decatur and believed he had," Summerford said.

"The charge is baseless," he said. "His intent was nothing of the kind, and I think he will be fully exonerated."

Police investigators say the signature of the accountant who supposedly prepared the form, Margaret Humphrey, was faked.

Summerford said he did not yet know whether the document is actually a forgery.

"If it is (forged), David Childers did not forge it," Summerford said. (The law says) you have to know it was forged. If it was forged, he did not know it."

When Mayor Don Kyle regarded Med-Call's statement dubiously during the Aug. 6 council meeting, Childers responded that the audit was conducted through a third-party accounting firm, which may have caused the problem.

Kyle said he called the accountant listed on the form and she told him she had never heard of Med-Call or Childers.

The council let the matters of granting licenses to Med-Call and another ambulance service die without a vote, allowing Decatur Emergency Medical Services to maintain its monopoly on all in-city emergency calls.

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