ALLENPORT – The assistant chief of Allenport Volunteer Fire Company was charged Wednesday as an accomplice to her husband, who served as the local fire chief, in stealing more than $13,000 from the organization.
Roscoe, Elco, Stockdale and Allenport regional police arrested Traci Fedrick, 38, on charges of theft, receiving stolen property, illegal use of a credit card and conspiring with her husband, Victor, 42, who was arrested in the case Friday, court records show.
Police accused the couple, who reside at 4 Center St., Allenport, of signing fire company checks to illegally withdraw $9,210 from its account at a local credit union. They also face allegations they used a company credit card to purchase $4,266 in gasoline for personal use. In all, both face 159 felony counts of identical charges, the criminal complaint indicates.
The thefts took place between April 2001 and April 2011, and were reported to police by other members of the fire company who noticed irregularities in banking statements, the record shows.
Their arrests come at a time when nearby Stockdale is discussing merging its fire department with Allenport, whose department lacks enough members to answer calls, Stockdale Mayor Barbara Timlin said.
The arrests, she said, likely will prompt more discussions about the merger.
“This just blew wide open,” Timlin said Wednesday.
Stockdale firefighters have been answering calls in Allenport for the past year, she said.
“We can’t leave these people without protection,” she said.
Traci Fedrick entered a plea of not guilty and was released from Washington County Jail after posting $75,000 bond Wednesday afternoon, said her attorney, Alan Benyak of Charleroi.
“She’s been a first responder since the age of 18 and is not going to do anything to jeopardize her position in the community,” Benyak said.
He said police never gave her an opportunity to be questioned, and they are not going to be able to prove she signed any checks or credit card transactions.
A RESA police spokesman declined to comment on Benyak’s claims.
It was not immediately known Wednesday if Victor Fedrick had hired an attorney to represent him in the case. He remained in Washington County Jail on $75,000 set by District Judge Larry Hopkins.
Hopkins scheduled a preliminary hearing for the couple at 11 a.m. Monday.