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Ex-fire chief pleads guilty to 3 counts in embezzlement

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$647,000 was stolen from Inter-Canyon Fire District; restitution promised

By Daniel Laverty

Former Inter-Canyon fire chief David MacBean pleaded guilty Monday to three charges in the theft of more than $647,000 from the fire district.

MacBean, who was indicted last October, seven months after he was asked to step down as chief, entered guilty pleas in district court to two counts of theft and one count of embezzlement of public property. MacBean's sentencing is scheduled for June 24; he faces up to 27 years in prison.

MacBean was accused of converting district funds into two personal accounts and then making a variety of purchases from January 2010 to March 2012.

As part of his plea, MacBean agreed to pay back $647,351.59.

“I don’t know exactly how restitution in this case will work out,” said Dave Thomas, MacBean’s attorney, adding that more details will be known after sentencing.

“We do know that if he goes to prison, (it will be) pretty difficult to make substantial restitution payments,” Thomas said. 

Thomas said the items MacBean purchased included photo equipment, guitars and firearms. He made multiple purchases at Big R and various online retailers, including Amazon.com.

MacBean had served as the unpaid chief of the district from 2009 to March 2013. The theft amounted to a quarter of the district's annual budget for each of the three years.

The district will be able to recover $100,000 from its insurance policy through the Special District Association of Colorado.

“We are very pleased that we are nearing the end of this difficult period for our citizens and firefighters,” said Dan Hatlestad, Inter-Canyon firefighter and paramedic. “We are appreciative of the work of the DA’s office and will continue to support the DA until sentencing.”

Contact Daniel Laverty at 303-350-1042 or Daniel@evergreenco.com.  Follow Daniel on Twitter @LavertyReports.