Friday, August 08, 2008

And another embezzler missed by Brian Sonntag.

Seattle - An assistant fire chief with South King Fire and Rescue is accused of stealing approximately $500,000 from the department.

"I think our entire department feels betrayed," said Chief Al Church.

Grant Gaspard was pulled over by federal agents in Fife Thursday morning and arrested without incident. At the same time, FBI agents were searching Gaspard's home in Olympia.

He is charged with three counts of mail fraud and two counts of wire fraud.

According to an FBI affidavit, prosecutors say Gaspard used his position as chief financial officer with the fire district to initiate and approve phony invoices and purchase orders over a period of several years. Gaspard, 51, also allegedly submitted fraudulent documentation in support of thousands of dollars worth of improper purchases on his district-issued credit card.

His boss says he also admitted to buying high-end electronics, cameras and police-grade assault rifles for himself.

Prosecutors say the activity has been going on since 2005.

"The allegations are serious and so he takes them very seriously and we'll take a look at what the evidence is and go from there," said Brett Purtzer, Gaspard's attorney.

Gaspard was placed on leave and subsequently resigned on July 31. In a written statement, South King Fire and Rescue Chief Allen D. Church says the department is audited annually and that state auditors found no irregularities this past June.

Read more great articles at King by clicking here.

Blog: Another "Friend of Brian".


Anonymous said...

Embezzlers are like cockroaches. For everyone you discover there are 50 more hidden behind the appliances.

Anonymous said...

Nice job above. Yeah this surprises no one. The surprise might be that if I stole a dozen doughnuts from the local bakery, my day in court would be much sooner. This government sucks. And it is the best? I guess. Get rid of Sonntag. He must be helpless!

Anonymous said...

Just another testament to the abilities of the state auditor's office. Like "black flag" said, there are probably lots more cases unexposed.

Where is the accountability?