Former Hannibal, NY, Fire Chief, Father Charged with Stealing from Department

Feb. 22, 2024
Chris Emmons and his father, Carl, were charged with stealing over $20,000 from a go-kart business established to raise money for the Hannibal Fire Department.

Hannibal, N.Y. — A former Hannibal fire chief has been charged with stealing $18,000 from the fire department and his father, also a volunteer firefighter, has been charged with stealing more than $2,500, according to state officials.

Chris M. Emmons, 40, the former fire chief, was arrested Tuesday, and his father, Carl M. Emmons Sr., 59, was arrested Wednesday, according to Trooper Jack Keller, a state police spokesperson.

The money was stolen through a go-kart business that was built in conjunction with the fire department, according to a news release from the state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

The comptroller’s office outlined how the thefts happened:

Chris Emmons had attempted to start a go-kart track business on his own property, but in February 2016 he convinced the Hannibal Fire Company to pay for construction of a track on its property.

He told the department the track would help raise money for the fire department and take the place of its bingo nights, according to the comptroller’s office. The fire department spent $35,000 to create Hannibal Kartway.

The weekend go-kart track was in operation from 2017 to 2022 and run by Chris Emmons, his family members and others. Money from race registrations and pit fees were supposed to go to the fire department, state officials said. Other profits, from raffles, membership dues, concessions and rentals, were to go toward track operation and maintenance, they said.

A comptroller’s office audit found that after 2020 Chris Emmons kept registration fees and stopped depositing any revenue into Kartway’s bank account. In all, it was determined that he failed to turn over $18,000 from the go-kart track to the fire department.

Carl Emmons was also involved in running Hannibal Kartway and had access to the Kartway bank account, according to the comptroller’s office. Within days of being contacted by DiNapoli’s auditors at the end of October 2022, Carl Emmons Sr. closed the Kartway bank account and transferred the remaining funds ($2,522.27) to his personal account. The next day, he informed auditors that go-kart track operations would be shut down permanently.

Chris Emmons, of Hannibal, was charged with grand larceny, falsifying business records and offering a false instrument for filing with intent to defraud, Keller said. All of which are felonies.

Carl Emmons, from Martville, was charged with grand larceny.

The Hannibal Fire Department was previously under investigation in 2022 when its former treasurer, George Parry Jr., was charged with stealing $800,000 from the department, Keller said.

Parry was suspended from his position. He died on May 26, 2022, when he went to the Sterling Nature Center and shot himself in the head with a handgun, according to a report from the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Office.

Chris Emmons was taken to Oswego County CAP Court and was later released, Keller said. Carl Emmons was also taken to the same court and issued an appearance ticket, he said.

©2024 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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