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Former fire chief convicted of embezzlement

BY PORTSIA SMITH

A man who had served as chief of the Trevilians Volunteer Fire Department in Louisa County must pay the department back for money a judge ruled that he embezzled.

Mark Adams McGhee, 32, of Louisa, was found guilty of misdemeanor embezzlement Tuesday in Louisa General District Court. The charge was amended from commercial fraud against government.

He was sentenced to 12 months in prison with all of that time suspended as long as he has good behavior for three years.

He must also pay $559.45 in restitution to the fire department.

McGhee pleaded not guilty to the charges, but agreed that there was enough evidence for a conviction.

McGhee was arrested in February by special agents with the Virginia State Police after a complaint was received.

According to State Police spokesman Sgt. Thomas Molnar, the complaint led to an investigation into alleged financial misrepresentation regarding the Trevilians Volunteer Fire Department Fund.

McGhee, who was co-winner of the 2010 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the Louisa County Crime Solvers, started working for the Louisa Police Department in 2008 and was named acting police chief for a brief time in 2010 after the retirement of longtime chief Stan Batten.

At the same time, McGhee was serving as the chief of the Trevilians Volunteer Fire Department. He resigned shortly before this investigation started.

He was on administrative leave at the Louisa Police Department, but it is unclear what his status is now.

The Louisa County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the ongoing state police investigation, Molnar said.

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419

psmith@fredericksburg.com

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