McCutchanville firefighter on leave during investigation into mi - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

McCutchanville firefighter on leave during missing money investigation

Posted: Updated:

A McCutchanville firefighter is on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of an investigation into missing money.

That information coming to us from an Assistant McCutchanville Fire Chief.

The Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office says thousands of dollars were reported missing from the Jeremy Tighe Scholarship Fund last month.

An investigation led them to a McCutchanville firefighter, who they say personally knew Tighe.

Tighe died one year ago Friday in an accident on St. Joseph Avenue while he was a passenger in a fire truck.

That scholarship fund is completely separate from the McCutchanville Fire Department. It was set up after Tighe's death and according to its web page, the fund is meant to help with education and training for firefighters in need.

But the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office says instead they believe about $4,000 of it was taken by someone with access to it for personal use.

Now they tell 14 News that money has since been returned. 

Right now, they aren't releasing the name of the McCutchanville firefighter they've been investigating, but they say that firefighter was one of just three people who had access to the fund and the only person with access to the fund's debit card.

The sheriff's office says they got involved after members of the fund's board came to them concerned about some missing funds. They weren't sure if it was sloppy bookkeeping or something criminal.

The sheriff's office says the fund works through a Paypal account and that the suspect claimed he got his personal Paypal account mixed up with the Jeremy Tighe account.

Authorities, though, don't buy that. They say it's clear the missing funds were used intentionally.

They've now turned over their case file to the prosecutor's office and are working to tie up some loose ends with them. Then the sheriff's office will wait to see if any charges are filed.

This is all happening now, just a few days before the one year anniversary of Jeremy Tighe's death.

"Any time you have a death involved, especially in public service, and then somebody takes advantage of a situation like that, it's a tough situation for everybody involved," said Detective Sgt. Nathan Sugarman, with the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Office.

At this point, no criminal charges have been filed. That's up to the prosecutor's office.

Tonight at 10, we'll explain more about that paid administrative leave and hear from Jeremy's mother about some events coming up later this week to mark the one year anniversary of his death and to remember his life.

Copyright 2013 WFIE. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow