Patriot Fire Chief Allegedly Uses Fire Department Funds To Pay Bills

Indiana State Police say the funds were being misappropriated and stolen between March 2014 and November 2018.

(Patriot, Ind.) - Charges have been filed against Patriot Fire Chief Gordon Wayne Turner Jr. 

Indiana State Police began investigating Turner last October after receiving a report from the Indiana State Board of Accounts, which alleged that monies from the Patriot Volunteer Fire Department (PVFD) were being misappropriated and stolen by Turner. 

Turner was interviewed by an Indiana State Police Detective on December 26. During the interview, Turner allegedly admitted to using $11,076.43 of PVFD funds to pay his utility bills at his private residence between March 2014 and November 2018. 

During the same interview, Turner also allegedly admitted to using $1,595.56 of fire department funds for his personal cell phone bills and $1,902.66 to pay his cable bills. 

On February 12, Turner was interviewed once again. According to a probable cause affidavit, he told detectives that he wrote 14 checks to himself and pocketed the cash for monies. In total, Turner is accused of taking $14,080.00 from the fire department for personal gain. 

Not only did Turner serve as Fire Chief during the time of the allegations, he also served as a Patriot Town Board Member. 

He is charged with four counts of felony Theft and four counts of felony Official Misconduct. 

Turner made his initial appearance in Switzerland County Circuit Court on February 22. He appeared in court without counsel and was denied a court appointed counsel. A pretrial hearing is set for April 29 at 11:00 a.m. The Court also set a jury trial for December 10, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. 

Turner was then released on his own recognizance. 

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