Former Maine Chief Admits Filling Fuel Tanks on Town

Aug. 26--DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine -- The former Sangerville fire chief last week pleaded guilty to using town money to fill the gas tank in his personal vehicle, according to Christopher Almy, district attorney for Piscataquis and Penobscot counties.

Charles "Chuck" Beane pleaded guilty to Class C felony theft in a Dover-Foxcroft courtroom on Aug. 18, Almy said.

Under a deferred disposition agreement, Beane will be required to pay nearly $1,700 in restitution to the town and a $2,000 fine. If he meets those terms, his conviction will be downgraded to a Class D misdemeanor charge. If he doesn't pay the restitution and fine, he will stand convicted of the felony and be sentenced by a judge, according to Almy.

Class C theft is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 5 years or a $5,000 fine, whereas Class D theft brings a penalty of less than one year in county jail or a fine of up to $2,000.

Almy said Beane worked with the department for more than 20 years and that he had used cards meant to pay for gas for the fire department's vehicles to fill the tanks of personal vehicles.

Almy said it was "hard to say" how much this cost the town over the years, but that the restitution amount was the closest investigators came to the figure.

Beane submitted a letter of resignation to the town on Feb. 14, citing health and personal reasons, Town Manager David Pearson said at the time.

However, prior to that resignation Beane was already facing questions about his then-alleged misappropriation of municipal funds.

The sheriff's investigation launched early this year after Pearson and the town's public works director contacted the department, according to Almy.

Pearson was not immediately available for comment Tuesday morning.

Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter @nmccrea213.

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