North Carolina Fire Chief Facing Second Round of Criminal Charges

A North Carolina fire chief who was suspended last fall after being charged with submitting fraudulent invoices, is now facing new charges of insurance fraud.

Kenan Wayne Kearney was suspended as Fire Chief of the Blackmon’s Crossroads Fire Department last November. He was charged with five counts of obtaining property under false pretenses for submitted fraudulent invoices for work done on fire department equipment. Johnston County Sheriff’s Deputies allege Kearney collected more than $14,000 in the scheme.

Chief Kearney was arrested again last week on six counts of insurance fraud and seven counts of embezzlement. The new charges accuse him of submitting fraudulent insurance claims for fire department equipment he reported as being lost or damaged. The equipment consisted of four portable radios, an air pack, and a thermal imager.

According to special agents with the Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division, the items were neither lost nor damaged and Chief Kearney pocketed $25,889.31 in proceeds from the insurance company.

Here is more on the insurance fraud case.

Here is more on the original charges.

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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