Nebraska Fire Department Suing Ex-Chief

A Nebraska fire department is suing its former fire chief to recoup funds the chief allegedly stole.

The Southeast Rural Fire Protection District, aka Southeast Fire & Rescue, has filed suit in Lancaster County District Court against former fire chief John Porter. Porter was arrested last year and charged with stealing $38,502.07 over a two-year period. He was terminated on February 1, 2013.

The fire department is seeking more than $60,000 in damages from Porter. The stolen funds allegedly came from an account containing bingo-fundraising proceeds that were earmarked to provide food and soft drinks for firefighters after a fire. Porter allegedly used the funds to buy a flat-screen TV, get a tattoo, buy go-kart parts, and pay personal bills.

It would appear this is not Porter’s first go-round with our criminal justice system. He pled guilty in 2006 to felony theft charges in Cheyenne County. Porter is now facing additional charges for possessing firearms as a convicted felon.

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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