Three Former Florida Fire Chiefs Charged With Fraud

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office has charged three former fire chiefs from the Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department with fraud. The arrests follow a seven-month investigation into allegations of misappropriation of funds from the now defunct fire company.

Two of the three former fire chiefs serve as career fire officers with the City of Brooksville, including current Brooksville Fire Chief David Freda and Brooksville Fire Captain David Murdock. The third man charged, Travis Morris, works for FEMA. All three were arrested last Friday.

The Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department was dissolved earlier this year after allegations surfaced alleging financial mismanagement, drinking in the station and sexual misconduct. The Hernando County Fire Department now provides protection to the area.

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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