(01/29/2016)
Roane County's prosecutor said a county fire chief and his wife have been indicted after they were accused of stealing more than $130,000 from the Newton Volunteer Fire Department.

Roane County Prosecutor Josh Downey said Fire Chief Sean McCarty and his wife Celestiel are each charged with multiple counts of embezzlement and conspiracy. Sean McCarty is also charged with 27 counts of falsifying accounts.

The indictment was handed down Thursday by a grand jury.

The two have been released on bond.

McCarty had been the Newton fire chief since 1990 until his resignation.

Problems surfaced last year regarding the Newton Fire Department billing fees to insurance companies for responses made on I-79, and possibly other incidents. The practice was an issue before the Roane County Commission.

According to the criminal complaint, security cameras captured images of McCarty producing the documents he gave to Roane commissioners.

The complaint also says the documents were allegedly cut, taped and copied. They were reportedly missing several purchases, canceled checks and transactions.


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