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Miss. FF charged with embezzling donation funds

The firefighter was an accountant for the Ocean Springs Firefighters Association with direct access to the funds



By Hannah Ruhoff
The Sun Herald

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. — An employee of the Ocean Springs Fire Department was charged with embezzlement Wednesday, according to a press release from the city of Ocean Springs.

The employee, who was not named in the release, was arrested by the Ocean Springs Police Department after money that was donated through fundraisers to the Ocean Springs Firefighters Association went missing. The employee was an accountant for the organization and had direct access to the funds.

According to the release, the discovery was made after reviewing financial records. According to the fire department, the money was not taxpayer money, but donations gained through fundraisers.

Fire Chief Derek McCoy placed the employee on administrative leave with pay after the employee allegedly admitted to the misspending.

A disciplinary hearing at a special meeting of the mayor and Board of Aldermen was held on Tuesday in which the board approved termination of the employee following a recommendation from Fire Chief Derek McCoy.

Chief McCoy contacted the Ocean Springs Police Department and provided documentation for a formal criminal investigation to be conducted.

“We are a team both professionally and personally. It is most bothersome for me that this former employee chose to forego the opportunity to ask for help from his OSFD family who trusted and respected him but rather he chose to betray all of us by making a repetitive conscious decision to steal,” McCoy said in a press release. “His behavior and apparent lack of judgment does not meet the standards that I, his former co-workers, or this community deserve and will not be tolerated.”

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