After former Inter-Canyon fire chief David MacBean was sentenced to eight years in prison for theft, current chief Randy Simpson said he and the department had been waiting a long time for the day of reckoning.
“It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders,” Simpson said outside the courtroom Friday evening. “This has been 19 months of hard work. I never expected to be in this position.”
Simpson became volunteer chief in April after MacBean’s theft of more than $647,000 from the department surfaced in March 2013.
“We do feel justice was served,” Simpson said. “(But) this is not a happy day for anyone — the MacBean family or the Inter-Canyon family.”
During Friday’s hearing, many people testified about how MacBean’s actions had financially crippled the volunteer department. After the public testimony, the prosecution revealed just how much damage was done to Inter-Canyon’s financials.
Lead prosecutor Carolyn O'Hara broke down MacBean’s unauthorized spending of taxpayer dollars.
MacBean spent more than $194,000 in 2010, more than $168,000 in 2011, and more than $284,000 in 2012. O'Hara highlighted the spending in particular months.
“In September 2010, MacBean stole almost $24,000,” O'Hara said, referring to a chart shown to the courtroom. “You can see he purchased electronics, shoes, digital accessories, videos and books.”
MacBean spent more than $42,000 in July 2012 — $14,000 of that at the online retailer Amazon.com. O'Hara again pointed out purchases of electronics, home-improvement items and computer equipment.
“MacBean bought every conceivable type of musical instrument,” O'Hara said of purchases of guitars, drums and amplifiers.
MacBean’s major spending destinations were at Amazon.com and the Big R in Conifer. He purchased 2,298 items at Amazon.com totaling more than $303,000 and 160 items at Big R for more than $24,000. He purchased 28 firearms at Big R.
“MacBean bought 296 electronic items, 181 home-improvement items, 593 music-related items and 550 pieces of sports equipment,” O'Hara said.
Simpson said it was “eye-opening and heartbreaking” to find out about the massive theft his one-time friend committed.
“I don’t have anything to say to (MacBean),” Simpson said. “He betrayed my trust as a friend, as a colleague and as chief of this department.”
In the wake of the theft, Inter-Canyon’s Board of Directors implemented new financial policies, including a purchase-approval plan, and canceled district credit cards.
“Coming out of this courtroom right now is the door opening to the beginning of healing and repairing what’s been damaged,” Simpson said.
Contact Daniel Laverty at 303-350-1042 or Daniel@evergreenco.com. Check HighTimberTimes.com for updates and breaking news. Follow Daniel on Twitter @LavertyReports.