Theft charge filed for alleged misappropriation by volunteer firefighter

Thursday, January 4, 2018 at 4:08 pm

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – A 25-year-old Mineral resident has been charged with  alleged misuse of a fire department department gas card while he was a volunteer firefighter.

Brady J. Mounce was summonsed into Lewis County Superior Court and appeared before a judge yesterday afternoon.

Temporary defense attorney Rachael Tiller said her client works as a farm hand and his earnings indicated he was eligible for a court appointed lawyer.

Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer requested Mounce’s bail be set with a $10,000 unsecured bond and Judge Joely O’Rourke agreed.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office said this summer a detective investigated after a Washington State Auditor’s Office report came back showing misappropriation of fuel from Lewis County Fire District 9 in Mineral. Mounce was a volunteer and his father was fire chief.

In June, Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said the information showed some of the activity occurred in the Morton area and some in Eatonville. Theft charges were filed in Pierce County, Breen said.

Lewis County prosecutors filed a charge of second-degree theft against Mounce on Dec. 5.

The affidavit regarding probable cause states the issue arose at the Jan. 24, 2016 fire commissioner’s meeting after the acting fire chief scrutinized a fuel bill from Stanley’s Oil Company and found Mounce’s use of the card did not match the run sheets. The matter was forwarded to the state auditor.

Sheriff’s detective Gene Seiber spoke with a fire commissioner who said she had recently resigned because of the issue.

Seiber wrote in his police report that the auditor’s findings showed Mounce made 20 purchases of fuel at Stanley’s Petroleum in Morton, totaling $1,503.12.

The time period of the activity is shown as three years during 2013, 2014, 2015 and through Jan. 1, 2016.

Detective Seiber spoke with the acting chief who told him Mounce had admitted to the “whole thing” in both counties, but when Seiber attempted to talk with Mounce, Mounce denied doing anything in Morton, according to charging documents.

After his court hearing yesterday, outside the courtroom, Mounce said he didn’t have any comment about his case. He will be represented by Centralia attorney David Brown.

His arraignment is scheduled for next Thursday.

For background, read “News brief: Mineral Fire Department audit shows fuel misappropriation” from Wednesday June 14, 2017, here

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6 Responses to “Theft charge filed for alleged misappropriation by volunteer firefighter”

  1. steel says:

    In the ten years I spent as a volunteer, I had many occasions to fill my apparatus with the district’s credit card. I never even gave a thought to using it for my own use. There are no excuses here. Most of us are just embarrassed by all this.

    BTW, I’d love to respond to XDs, but I hate feeding trolls.

  2. still waiting for justice says:

    maybe big Brady Mounce should of done a better job raising little Brady Mounce

  3. XDs says:

    Polish, are you a liberal by chance?

  4. Dr Gringo says:

    Seriously? This guy (allegedly) steals over $1,500 worth of gas and you think it’s because of “how crappy we treat our volunteers” and blame it on the “socially inept communities” whose taxpayers are funding these fire departments? SMH.

  5. Sherman says:

    Theft is theft. If you steal then you’re a thief. There’s nothing ambiguous about it, whether you’re a volunteer or President of the United States.

  6. Polish sausage says:

    It amazes me how crappy we treat our volunteers. Elected officials refuse to take a pay cut and use their job titles and influence to raise and maintain their pay. commissioners and the sheriff all got pay raises that basically dipped into reserves. Little Brady Mounce using the charge card to get to the station can’t get a break? Ridiculous. I bet it didn’t even cover those transportation costs. The stations are understaffed, sometimes transportation is an issue with distances and frequency of calls all the money in the world put into the fire levy will not guarantee someone will show up. I think the firemen should get gas vouchers to help get to the station so they can help people. I have seen the fire dept politics is salkum with McDaniel, Onalaska with their board, now mineral with gas card fraud. The politics in becoming chief of the fire dept always involves a purge of volunteers, accusations of the previous chief and some kind of newspaper headline drama. I realize in our socially inept communities we struggle at times to coin the term “tight knit” perhaps all this cut throat drama for notoriety and seniority has something to do with it.

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