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Mayor embezzled fire funds

PROSPECT - State police said they have charged a village mayor with embezzling more than $80,000 while serving as treasurer for the local volunteer fire department.

Mayor Donald F. Bishop Jr. pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Oriskany Village Court to two felony counts of grand larceny. He was released after posting a $5,000 bond. Bishop was ordered to return to court July 24.

State police said the thefts occurred between 1997 and 2000 when Bishop was treasurer for the Prospect Volunteer Fire Department.

Bishop served as fire department treasurer for about seven years and was removed in April 2001 as suspicion of wrongdoing mounted, said fire chief and village trustee Wayne Premo.

The theft has affected the fire company's ability to purchase new equipment, Premo said.

Bishop, 57, was re-elected in March to a third term as mayor of this village of 330 people, 60 miles east of Syracuse.

"They had a checking account and they only required one signature on the account," lead state police Investigator Kevin Buttenschon told The Observer-Dispatch of Utica.

Submitted by: Werner Hetzner 

Source: Gazette Newspapers




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