A Long Island volunteer firefighter stole $700,000 - raised to fund community activities, parades, fire-safety programs, a scholarship fund and a pension plan - while he was the treasurer of the Dix Hills Fire Department, authorities reported yesterday.
Michael Metzmacher, 30, served as the treasurer of the department from 1998 until last year, when department checks began bouncing.
An investigation by Suffolk DA Thomas Spota revealed that Metzmacher diverted the money, which came from a fund that was established in 1947, for his own use.
One of the bank accounts Metzmacher allegedly emptied was a $35,000 fund to benefit the family of New York firefighter Terry Farrell, who died in the Sept. 11 attacks. Farrell also volunteered in the Dix Hills department, said Spota spokesman Bob Clifford.
"[Farrell's widow] went to one of the banks and was told that the fund no longer had any money in it," said Clifford.
Metzmacher was charged with grand larceny.
A statement released by the department said members "are shocked and outraged that one of our own may have boldly and systematically stolen virtually every penny of our Benevolent and Welfare operating accounts."