Arkansas DOD Fire Chief Pleads to Fraud Charges

The fire chief at the Pine Bluff Arsenal in Arkansas has pled guilty to overtime fraud. Fire Chief Thomas James Braumuller allegedly billed the government more than $133,000 in fraudulent overtime between January 2009 and March 2011.

Braumuller, aged 54, has been a Department of Defense firefighter since 1988. He started working for the Pine Bluff Arsenal (a special military installation overseen by the United States Army Joint Munitions Command) in 2004. Braumuller was appointed chief of Pine Bluff Arsenal in 2006 with an annual base pay of approximately $115,000.

The United States Army Joint Munitions Command noticed irregularities in his overtime claims, and initiated an investigation. Braumuller resigned in March 2011 and was charged with presenting a false claim to the United States for overtime he did not work.

Braumuller pled guilty to the charges on April 19, 2012, in U.S. District Court in Little Rock and agreed to pay a restitution of $58,594 to the department, he admitted that he used the money to pay medical bills and other personal expenses. He will be sentenced at a later date, and faces up to 5 years in jail and a $250,000 fine.

Here is the plea agreement submitted to the court. braumuller_plea_agreement

More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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