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Felony theft charges filed against fire chief, wife

A fire chief and his wife are currently both in Colorado police custody on allegations that they engaged in criminal behavior while the husband was employed at an area fire department. Both individuals face charges for felony theft, while the former fire chief is facing three other charges, two of which are also felonies. Bond has not yet been set.

The criminal allegations did not arise until the former fire chief had already accepted a new position with a different department. After he left, the city's attorney and manager claimed that they noticed irregularities in the bookkeeping. They also claimed that equipment was missing from the fire department. Investigators looked further into the matter and apparently found different areas of concern, including requested reimbursement for medical equipment that had never actually been ordered. The email and physical addresses provided for the reimbursements were the fire chief's personal email and home address.

Police later arrested the former fire chief and his wife, who was allegedly complicit with the alleged theft. The theft charges indicate that police believe more than $120,000 was stolen from 2010 to 2015. The stolen funds supposedly helped support their personal lifestyle and went toward purchases of appliances and at least one bicycle.

Felony theft charges are no small matter, and the impact of a conviction can extend well beyond jail time and hefty fines. A criminal record can prevent some people in Colorado from finding gainful employment or from taking advantage of certain educational opportunities. In order to minimize these types of impacts, many defendants choose to begin prepare their defense strategies in as timely a manner as possible.

Source: journal-advocate.com, "Former fire chief, wife facing theft charges", Sara Waite, Aug. 12, 2016

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