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Former Inter-Canyon fire chief faces theft, embezzlement charges

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By Daniel Laverty and Doug Bell

Former Inter-Canyon fire chief Dave MacBean is facing theft and embezzlement charges in connection with $643,000 in purchases made with district funds over a three-year period.

 

A news release from the Morrison-based fire district said MacBean was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury Oct. 15 after an investigation was triggered by an internal audit in January. MacBean was placed on leave in January and left the department in March.

MacBean, who had served as the unpaid chief of the volunteer department since 2009, is accused of converting district funds into two personal accounts and then making the purchases, according to District Attorney Peter Weir.

MacBean was booked into the Jeffco jail last Wednesday afternoon and appeared Thursday morning to be advised of the charges he faces. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Dec. 2. The indictment accuses MacBean of three counts of theft of $20,000 or more and three counts of embezzlement of public property, both felonies.


Inter-Canyon spokesman Dan Hatlestad said the district’s annual budget is about $900,000, adding that the thefts represented “a significant portion” of that amount.

DA’s spokeswoman Pam Russell said MacBean posted $40,000 bond last Thursday afternoon and was released from jail.

Hatlestad said several safeguards had been put in place to prevent a similar misuse of funds and that significant changes have been made to who has access to district credit cards.

“Inter-Canyon has implemented a new purchasing-order process which requires multiple levels of approval prior to the actual initiation of a purchase,” Hatlestad said.

Hatlestad said Inter-Canyon is looking at its options to recover the lost money.

“The criminal case comes first, but we will take any necessary action to recover this money in a civil matter,” he said.

Inter-Canyon’s board of directors meets at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at Station 1, 7939 S. Turkey Creek Road. The next meeting is Nov. 13.

“These are allegations that Inter-Canyon is taking very seriously,” Hatlestad said. “Obviously, we will continue to serve our citizens when they call 911 for help, and we will continue to assist the district attorney’s office during this case.”