Update: Former Southeast Rural Fire Chief Sentenced to Prison

By: 10/11 News Email
By: 10/11 News Email
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A former Southeast Rural Fire Chief will spend time in prison for embezzling money from the fire department.

On Thursday, a judge sentenced John Porter to spend three to four years in prison for theft by unlawful taking. He will serve an additional year for attempted possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

Porter pleaded no contest on charges of attempted possession of a firearm by prohibited person and theft by unlawful taking. The judge then found him guilty.

He entered the plea after the prosecution changed one of the charges from possession of a firearm to attempted possession.

Attempted possession of a firearm by prohibited person is a class 2 felony and Porter could serve 1-50 years in prison.

Theft by unlawful taking of more than $1,500 is a class 3 felony.

The 46 year old took $33,140 from the department from 2010 to 2013.

His former co-workers, speaking outside the court house Thursday, said the wounds of his actions still run deep in the department.

"That's what we all are... is brothers and sisters," Steve Schneider, a volunteer firefighter, said.

"All he did was steal from his family. All of us."

Schneider said the department is "making it" by, despite the heavy loss of funds. But, all that money would have gone towards supplies for the volunteers.

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