West Virginia Firefighters Plead Nolo to Financial Charges

A former fire chief and his son have pled nolo to charges involving the misuse of department funds. Thomas Perry, 53 the former fire chief of the Chapmanville Fire Department, and his son, Cody, 35, were indicted last year on embezzlement, conspiracy, and fraudulent schemes charges.

The charges followed an investigation conducted by the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office. The offenses reportedly took place between 2015 and 2021. Both men opted to plead no contest to one charge each. Thomas pled to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud, while Cody pled to one count of embezzlement.

The State Auditor’s Office is seeking to have the court include a restitution order in their sentences, with Thomas being responsible for approximately $16,000 and Cody for approximately $38,000. 

Both will be sentenced on July 6, 2023. Thomas faces up to 5 years in prison, while Cody faces up to ten years in prison. More on the story.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 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, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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