Connecticut Chief Sentenced For Embezzlement

A former Connecticut fire chief who was found guilty last year by a federal jury on two charges of embezzling fire department funds was sentenced to three months in jail and three years of supervised released.

Paul Perrotti, 49, the former fire chief in Middlebury, was accused of stealing upwards of $70,000 from the department through a scheme involving his side business. Perotti, an electrical contractor, also had a business called Paul Perrotti Electric, LLC. Note the acronym created by the business name: PPE.

According to a press release issued by United States Attorney Deirdre M. Daly yesterday:

In 2012 and 2013, PERROTTI used Town funds to pay for unauthorized personal expenses and for expenses associated with PPE. These payments included checks made directly payable to employees of PPE, checks made to various vendors of PPE for PPE-related supplies, and checks made to pay third parties, who ultimately passed on the payments to PERROTTI. PERROTTI also submitted invoices to the Town of Middlebury for expenses that he falsely claimed were incurred by MVFD but, in fact, were expenses related to the business of PPE, including bills for various vendors of PPE.

The jury found him guilty of two counts of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds. Following the trial U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer concluded Perrotti embezzled $25,746 from the Town and the MVFD. Perrotti served as chief of the Middlebury Volunteer Fire Department from 1997 to 2014.

Besides serving his sentence and supervised release, Perrotti will have to perform 200 hours of community service.

Here is the US Attorney’s press release.

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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