Former fire chief charged with using department funds for personal use

Published 9:12 pm Thursday, March 22, 2018

State Fire Marshal Scott Pilgreen has released more details about former Pike County fire chief John Register charged with first-degree theft of property.

“It has to do with the mishandling of monies that came into that particular rescue squad and him using those monies for personal gain,” Pilgreen said.

Register, 62, has previously served as fire chief over Pike County Fire and Rescue and as the head of the Pike County Firefighter’s Association, which helps coordinate the volunteer fire departments of Pike County and distributes grant money.

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Pilgreen said the investigation began with an anonymous tip that there had been a misappropriation of funds.

“Suffice it to say, the monies intended to be used by that organization were not to be used for anyone’s own personal use, as was going on here,” Pilgreen said. “And by that I mean paying personal bills and buying personal items at various locations, again for personal gain.”

First-degree theft of property is a Class B Felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Pilgreen did not give an estimated amount of money stolen, but said it would amount to more than $2,500, which is the bar for establishing first-degree theft.

Register was booked into the Pike County Jail and released on bond.