Former fire district chief’s alleged embezzlement revealed by AP audit

An accounts payable audit conducted by the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office uncovered potential misappropriation of public funds within California's Mount Shasta Fire Protection District (MSFPD).

Former MSFPD chief Christopher Baker was found to have used his district credit card to make as much as $10,000 in unauthorized purchases last year.

According to Siskiyou County district attorney Kirk Andrus, the alleged embezzlement was facilitated by the fact that Baker had unfettered access to the card and was allowed to purchase items without another person approving the expenditures.

"For most of 2011, there wasn't another set of eyes looking at those expenses," he said, as quoted by the Redding Record Searchlight.

Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey noted that while the investigation is continuing, "sufficient evidence was developed by the investigator to warrant the request to the district attorney for the criminal filing of embezzlement charges," as quoted by the Mount Shasta News.

If convicted on the single felony misappropriation of public funds count, Baker will face up to three years' imprisonment. 

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