Firefighter accused of embezzlement | News
HANOVER, VA (WWBT)- A Hanover firefighter is in some hot water. He's facing charges for stealing money from his own volunteer fire house. Rodney Gentry, the treasurer of the Henry Volunteer Fire Department, was arrested Tuesday on felony embezzlement charges after a week long investigation.
The mood inside his volunteer fire house is one of devastation upon hearing one of their own is accused of violating not only their trust, but the public's.
It is a measure of goodwill. You donate your hard earned dollars to the men and women who put their lives on the line fighting fires for free. Henry Volunteer Fire Department #6 holds fundraisers to buy things the county can't supply.
The money is a gift to "the volunteers serving you." But according to the sheriff's office, while Rodney Gentry was serving as the fire house treasurer for about four years, he decided to help himself to some of that money.
Battalion Chief Willie Jones believes the ordeal is going to make people think.
"People are going to see this and say 'I've been giving my money for years and years and years and it's been misused by this gentleman,'" he told us.
The Hanover Sheriff's Office got a tip about some spending irregularities about a week ago. The felony embezzlement charge means Gentry allegedly stole at least two hundred bucks.
Gentry has volunteered with Hanover for more than twenty years. We've also learned he works for the county as a communications manager, someone who's relatively high up on the food chain. A public records search shows he makes almost $70,000 a year.
While the investigation continues, fellow volunteers are struggling to figure out how the actions of one man will affect the rest of them.
"We credit ourselves on having a stellar fire department with good character and good morals and then when something like this happens it puts a stain on the whole department," Jones explained.
Gentry is out on bond. He's expected back in Hanover General District Court next week.
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