Former Va. Union Treasurer Charged with Embezzlement

July 03--SUFFOLK -- A former firefighter of the year has been charged with stealing more than $50,000 from the fire union, prosecutors said.

Sheron Gibson, the union's former treasurer, was charged with 12 counts of embezzlement and one count of forgery -- all felonies. No trial date is scheduled.

Gibson, who was arrested last week and released on a $2,500 bond, declined to comment on the charges Tuesday.

Gibson, 41, owns Virginia Fire Extinguishers in Suffolk, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in Circuit Court. The company sells, inspects, maintains, repairs and recharges portable fire extinguishers.

Detectives believe Gibson used the union's money to pay some of his company's vendors, the affidavit said.

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Marilyn A. Sallee said the fraud stretched from 2008 through early 2014.

Gibson, a father of two, was named Suffolk's firefighter of the year in 2009, according to a city news release. He also was recognized as the emergency medical technician of the year for 2002.

A city spokesman said Gibson worked for the Fire Department from 2003 until June 3.

Scott Daugherty, 757-222-5221, scott.daugherty@pilotonline.com

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