"Moving Out So That Others Can Move Up …"
FLAGLER BEACH, FLORIDA, CONTINUES to have fire chief troubles. Three months ago their fire chief Martin Roberts and three other firefighters were fired for drinking alcohol on the job and, in one known instance, driving a firetruck to an emergency after drinking. See Firegeezer report from January 10 HERE.
Now Robert's interim replacement, Acting Fire Chief Bobby Pace is in hot water after being accused by the Flagler Beach Police of falsifying time sheets for a prisoner who has been performing community service assignments as part of his sentence.
According to an affidavit filed by the Flagler Beach Police Department, Pace signed off on Tsabak's five-hour shifts at the department, when in reality he only worked one hour.
Investigators say they were able to prove that from video surveillance in the department, but that video evidence was eventually deleted by Pace in what police say was a cover-up.
During an interview with police, Pace said, "I never flagrantly awarded hours, I only rounded up a bit for good work." Pace said he did not know Tsabak personally, calling the allegations fabricated, according to police.
A lengthy, detailed report in FlagerLive.com tells in part:
(Pace) is facing a felony charge of tampering with evidence and a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice, according to an affidavit filed by the Flagler Beach Police Department.
The charging papers state, on at least five occasions awarded community service hours to probationer Vitaly Tsabak "that were not earned and were in essence falsely documented."
Patricia Davis, Tsabak’s probation officer, became suspicious when she looked at the hours submitted, because time sheets showed Tsabak logging up to five hours at a time, and doing so late in the evening, even though his job amounted to little more than janitorial duty at the fire department’s station. The station was under video surveillance. The times logged could be checked against the recordings, and were.
Davis, the charging affidavit states, "was able to confirm with Flagler Beach Fire Department staff who viewed the video surveillance of the aforementioned five alleged time periods of service that the hours were false and Tsabak’s Community Control was subsequently violated/revoked." Witnesses at the station told the probation officer that Tsabak only stayed about an hour at a time to do the work. He Tsabak was sentenced to state prison until August 2015.
WJXT-TV also posted this video report:
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IN ONSLOW COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA, North Topsail Beach deputy fire chief George Frederick Moore, III, 48, has been charged with embezzling more than $60,000 from the fire department.
was charged Thursday by the N.C. Dept. of Insurance Criminal Investigation with four counts of embezzlement, according to warrants.
Moore is accused of taking $61,150 belonging to North Topsail Beach Volunteer Fire Department and the North Topsail Beach Volunteer Fire Department Local Firefighters Relief Fund, administered by the N.C. State Firemen’s Association and NCDOI, between 2009 and 2012, according to warrants.
Moore served as treasurer and trustee of the North Topsail Beach Volunteer Fire Department Local Firefighters Relief Fund.
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