PA Chief Accused of Stealing From Grant Program

A Pennsylvania fire chief has been charged with embezzling over $57,000 from a federal grant program. Fire Chief Anthony Dibona was arraigned in US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania earlier this week. He faces a single count of embezzlement and several IRS related counts.

Chief Dibona is the fire chief for the Phoenix Volunteer Fire Company, located in Hollidaysburg. Neither the news coverage nor the criminal complaint include any information as to which grant program was involved beyond stating that it was a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant.

Last year, a former member of the same department, Benjamin Rhine, was accused of embezzling over $1.5 million from a FEMA recruitment grant program while a member of the Hollidaysburg Volunteer Fire Department. More on that story.

Here are the charging documents in Chief Dibona’s case:

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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