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Federal Way News Briefs | Nov. 12

Former fire chief pleads guilty to mail fraud

Grant Gaspard, former South King Fire and Rescue assistant chief and chief financial officer, pleaded guilty Nov. 6 to mail fraud.

Gaspard was charged with fraud in early August. He resigned from the fire district July 31, when it came to the attention of fire Chief Al Church that Gaspard may have purchased personal items using his district-issued credit card.

Church suspended Gaspard from his position on July 14 and Gaspard was taken into custody Aug. 7.

Gaspard admitted to fraudulently purchasing more than $500,000 worth of goods, over several years, with his district-issued credit card, according to his plea agreement.

Among his purchases were photographic equipment, including a camera lens priced at $8,499, a high-definition television, Blu-Ray player, Apple computers, night vision scopes and firearm equipment, such as rifle scopes and laser sights, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He used a Tumwater mailbox and phony invoices to conduct the purchases.

Gaspard was held at the federal detention center pending his trial, and has since been released with restrictions to his travel and contact with South King Fire and Rescue personnel placed upon him.

Gaspard is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 30, 2009.

Enterprise Elementary gets grant for playground

Enterprise Elementary has been recommended by King County Parks and Recreation for a $30,000 Youth Sports Facility Grant for next year.

The grant will be used to update the 14-year-old playground. The grant comes from an independent source, so it’s not likely to be affected by budget-cutting measures. However, the grant will not be finalized until the King County Council approves the budget in late November.

The Enterprise PTA began the grant writing process last year. The PTA also conducted fundraising to help add more upper body equipment and American Disability Act-approved equipment, such as weatherproof drums and bongos, which are easily accessible by children in wheelchairs. The PTA has raised $7,500 and the Federal Way School District has promised to match that.

Pow wow at Federal Way

Federal Way Public Schools Native Education Program is sponsoring the “Honoring the Gift of Tradition.” The pow wow event will take place at 1 p.m. Nov. 22 at Federal Way High School, 30611 16th Ave. S. The event will feature native dancers from around the region including Elders, Tiny Tots and Hand Drum dances.

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