Former Allenport fire officials plead guilty to stealing funds
The former Allenport fire chief and his wife must pay back thousands of dollars after they pleaded guilty to stealing more than $13,000 from the volunteer fire company.
Victor Fedrick, 43, and Traci Fedrick, 39, both of 4 Center St., Allenport, pleaded guilty to felony charges of theft and conspiracy. Victor Fedrick also pleaded guilty to access device fraud in the case. Washington County Judge Katherine Emery Tuesday sentenced each of them to 23 months of probation and 100 hours of community service.
They also were ordered to pay back $11,143 to the newly consolidated Stockdale Volunteer Fire Department plus court costs. Each of them will be required to pay $200 per month for about 28 months, Emery said.
The couple were arrested in July 2012 and each charged with 159 felony counts, which included charges of theft, receiving stolen property and illegal use of a credit card.
Police said the couple signed fire company checks to illegally withdraw $9,210 from its account at a local credit union. The withdrawals, which needed two department member signatures, were taken from the Mon Valley Community Federal Credit Union between May and December 2010 without the knowledge of the other Allenport Fire Company members, investigators said. Traci Fedrick was an assistant fire chief at the time.
They also used a fire department credit card to purchase $4,266 in gasoline for their personal vehicles between January and October 2011. Investigators said the couple used the Guttman Oil Co. credit card to purchase gasoline 81 times at stations in Speers, Rostraver Township and West Mifflin.
The restitution payments must be made to Stockdale since Allenport merged with the neighboring department in May.
Stockdale Fire Chief Tom Wilkinson said he was unaware of the plea deal until speaking to a reporter Wednesday afternoon. The two departments were negotiating a merger last year when the arrests happened, which Wilkinson thinks was the “last straw” for the embattled Allenport department.
“That was the last nail in their coffin when they did that,” Wilkinson said. “We were working on the merger and that was the end of it.”
He said the restitution will help Stockdale firefighters, but didn’t expect it to be a windfall for the department.
“It’s going to help, but I don’t know how long it will take to get it back,” Wilkinson said. “It’s nothing we’re going to count on. It’s not like a big windfall.”