February 19, 2014

Fire official charged with stealing funds

HOGANSBURG — A volunteer fire official is charged with stealing almost $6,000 from the Hogansburg-Akwesasne Fire Department.

State Police said Tuesday that at about 12:50 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, they were called to the Fire Station on State Route 37 in Bombay for a report of a larceny.

They charged Ryan J. McDonald, 24, of Hogansburg with stealing $5,985.31 by allegedly cashing checks made out to himself and forging the signatures of other members.

A captain in the department, McDonald had access to its checking account in order to take care of miscellaneous expenses, State Police said.

Troop B Public Information Officer Trooper Jennifer Fleishman said an investigation showed that McDonald used some of the money to make payments on his own truck.

The missing funds were discovered during a monthly audit by the Fire Department treasurer, Fleishman said. Fire Chief Derek Comins contacted State Police.

McDonald was charged with second-degree forgery and third-degree grand larceny, both felonies.

He was arraigned in Fort Covington Town Court and was released under the supervision of the Franklin County Probation Department until his next court appearance.

He could not be reached Tuesday for comment.

Email Lois Clermont: lclermont@pressrepublican.comTwitter: @EditorLois

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