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Fire union treasurer indicted, accused of stealing $600K

Joshua Ruhlin is accused of taking money from the union from January 2011 to March 2017

By Kaylee Remington
Advance Ohio Media

AKRON, Ohio — The former treasurer of Akron’s fire union has been indicted on charges that accuse him of stealing more than $600,000 from the union, officials said.

Joshua Ruhlin, 40, is charged with aggravated theft, tampering with records, theft in office and telecommunications fraud, according to Summit County Common Pleas Court records.

The city has placed Ruhlin on unpaid leave as a fireman, and he is no longer the union’s treasurer, Akron Fire Local 330 President Russ Brode said.

“It’s a staggering amount (of money),” Brode said. “It’s not a fun amount to report.”

Authorities arrested Ruhlin last month in Charlotte, North Carolina, police said. He has not yet been extradited to Ohio.

Ruhlin is accused of taking money from the union from January 2011 to March 2017, police said. The money was the union’s private money, and not city or county funds, Brode said.

“We’re going to come out of this mess,” he said. “We have a lot of support from our state and international organizations. When you go through a situation like this you have support and help from a lot of people.”

Akron Fire Local 330, which is located on Massillion Road south of East Market Street, reported the thefts March 27.

The union will elect a new treasurer in May, Brode said.

“This is a very horrible situation we are going through, but we are going to get through it,” he said. “It will take time, but we will recoup as much loss as we can.”

Safeguards are being put in place in response to the thefts, Brode said.

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