Former fire CFO sentenced for embezzlement

Grant Gaspard, 51, former South King Fire and Rescue assistant fire chief, was sentenced May 8 to three years in prison and three years supervised release for mail fraud. Gaspard will also pay $959,200 in restitution.

Gaspard, who served as the district's chief financial officer and was a 27-year veteran with the department, resigned from his position with the fire district July 31, 2008 after an employee reported suspicious financial transactions involving the assistant chief a few weeks prior. Gaspard used his district-issued credit card, phony documentation and a Tumwater mailing address to embezzle more than $500,000 from the fire district.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Gaspard caused the misuse of more than $775,000 in district money. He bought electronics, photography equipment and restored vehicles with the embezzled funds, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The mail fraud was investigated by the FBI and took place over a time span of several years. The district receives its funding primarily through property taxes and voter approved levies.

Gaspard pleaded guilty to the crime Nov. 6.

"Mr. Gaspard’s conduct is a tremendous ‘black-eye’ for the department," Fire Chief Al Church said in court.

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