“Basically, we received a report that fire department funds were being misappropriated, so we conducted an investigation and presented it to a grand jury,” said Ed Paulk, state fire marshal.
The Northern Division St. Clair County grand jury convened last week and handed down indictments for the three former firefighters.
According to court documents, Brian Keith Barbee, 50, of Steele, was indicted for first-degree theft of property by deception, first-degree theft of property and second-degree theft of property.
Jason Scott Jovzpary, 24, of Ashville, was indicted for first-degree theft of property by deception degree and first-degree theft of property.
Robert Lee Bragg, 33, of Ashville, was indicted for second-degree theft of property.
St. Clair County Assistant District Attorney Carol Boone said the men are tentatively scheduled to appear in Circuit Court for their arraignments the second week in June.
She said second-degree theft of property is a Class C felony and if convicted of the charge a suspect could serve one year and a day and up to 10 years in prison.
Boone said first-degree theft of property is a Class B felony and a suspect convicted of that charge could face two to 20 years in prison.
Boone said she could not comment on the state’s pending criminal case against the three men.
“This is not a black mark against the fire department,” Paulk said. “This is people who made poor decisions and who acted improperly.”
Contact David Atchison at firstname.lastname@example.org.