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Ex-fire chief indicted on embezzlement charges

Posted June 11, 2008

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— A fire chief who was fired from his rural Harnett County department was indicted Wednesday on 13 counts each of embezzlement and obtaining property by false pretense.

Joseph Michael Holmes, 35, of Sanford, was chief of Benhaven Emergency Services Inc., the non-profit organization that provides fire and paramedic coverage to the Barbecue Township area in western Harnett County, for about five years before he was fired in August 2007.

The Harnett County Sheriff's Office began investigating the department's finances at about the same time as Holmes was fired.

Investigators said Holmes used nearly $8,300 from the department for personal use, including buying meals, gas and parts for his personal vehicle and building supplies at Lowe's. Many of the purchases were charged to department credit cards, authorities said.

Benhaven Emergency Services has an operating budget this year of about $425,000.

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  • Meandmytwo Jun 12, 2008

    Good they got his behind out of there. He probably would have stolen more than that if he was still holding that position. It was not worth it at all.

  • parr4246 Jun 11, 2008

    "bet if he knew he was going to be charge he would have taken more money.....................!!!!"

    typo.................. should have read charged, not charge !!

  • Glass Half Full Jun 11, 2008

    He wasn't a government employee. He was paid by the Board of Directors of the Fire Department, it's a non-profit organization. The funds did, however, come from the citizen's taxes.

  • WRALSPORTSFANSUXS Jun 11, 2008

    Another government employee bites the dust, Iam so shocked. Man that guy has a big head.

  • Glass Half Full Jun 11, 2008

    He should be happy this is all the were able to indict him on.

  • parr4246 Jun 11, 2008

    "Investigators said Holmes used nearly $8,300 from the department for personal use"

    bet if he knew he was going to be charge he would have taken more money.....................!!!!