Former Fire Chief convicted of theft - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Former Fire Chief convicted of theft

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By: Jenn Hatcher

After pleading no contest, former Southeast Rural Fire and Rescue Chief John Porter was found guilty of two charges, attempted possession of a firearm and theft by unlawful taking.

John Porter appeared before Judge Steven Burns on Thursday afternoon.

Between 2010 and 2013, Lincoln Police say Porter misappropriated $38,000 from the Southeast Rural Fire chief's fund, an account meant for small work-related incidentals.

The 47-year-old was with Southeast Rural Fire and Rescue for 11 years, 3 of them as Chief.

When officers arrested Porter in May of 2013, they found 17 firearms in his home, which led to the new firearms charge, because he's a felon.

In 2007, Porter was convicted of Theft by Deception for taking $40,000 from his former employer, Cabela's.

On Thursday, the prosecution stated that the ex-fire chief agreed to pay $33,140.78 in restitution.

A handful of current Southeast firefighters were in the courtroom.

""We trust each other with our lives and if somebody's going to steal from you, you can't trust them at all," says Steve Schnieder, SE Rural Fire and Rescue."

Another says, "He's done this to many times to many people and got away with it and he lied to us about the Cabela's deal and that he was going to get it dismissed," Rick Pickel.

Porter faces one to 50 years for the firearm charge and one to 20 years for the theft.

Sentencing is set for May 22.


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