• 68°

Ex-New Sight fire chief charged with embezzlement

The former chief of the New Sight Volunteer Fire Department wasarrested and charged with embezzlement Wednesday afterinvestigators discovered he had allegedly been taking money fromthe department for almost three years.

District Attorney Dee Bates said Mike Boyd, 37, of 682 Earls Trailin Brookhaven, is being held in the Lincoln County Jail on $100,000bond. Bates said Boyd could face 25 years in prison, a stiffersentence than in most embezzlement cases because as a fire chief hewas considered a holder of the public trust.

A Lincoln County criminal affidavit alleges Boyd had been takingfunds from the department since the beginning of 2006 untilNovember last year, when county officials noticed the firedepartment’s records were either missing or inaccurate. Thedocument also indicates that Boyd confessed to the crime andprovided a written statement.

Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said the matter is still underinvestigation and could not comment on the total figure Boydallegedly took or what he spent the money on. The official chargestates Boyd “did willfully and unlawfully and feloniously embezzlemore than $500.”

“We’re waiting on a couple of more statements from vendors thatwe’ve been tracking the money to,” Rushing said.

Lincoln County Civil Defense Director Clifford Galey said the moneyin question was a mixture of tax dollars generated through thedepartment’s small property tax levy and from the department’sinsurance premium rebate fund.

Galey said New Sight’s own internal investigation has uncoveredwhere most of the missing money was spent, but he declined toelaborate further.

“I have a good idea, but I don’t know for sure yet,” he said.”We’ve found most of it.”

Galey said Boyd would seek an attorney after speaking with him inthe county jail Wednesday afternoon.

New Sight remains on solid financial ground and is in no danger ofgoing broke because of the embezzlement, Galey said.

“We’re not going to let that happen,” he said.