Former Denison Fire Chief pleads guilty in missing funds case


January 8th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

A man who once served as the City of Denison’s first paid fire chief, has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of 1st-degree theft, in association with the misspending tens-of-thousands of dollars of city and county money. According to the Omaha World Herald, the plea by Mike McKinnon was made in exchange for a second charge of felonious misconduct in office, being dropped. McKinnon is scheduled to be sentenced on February 11th. He faces up to 10-years in prison, and a $10,000 fine.

State Auditor David Vaudt reviewed records dating from July of 2005 through March of 2010. The records showed about $96,000 of improper and unsupported disbursements from the Denison Fire Department. Vaudt said about $73,000 of that was from the City of Denison and another $23,000 was from the Crawford County EMS Association. The report shows nearly $40,000 was improperly paid to businesses owned by McKinnon. Vaudt said McKinnon also made thousands of dollars worth of personal purchases with the city’s credit card.

McKinnon has reportedly made a partial restitution, and has agreed to repay the City of Denison the more than $9,260 it paid for the special audit, along with nearly $1,000 the City was not reimbursed by its insurance carrier and, restitution to the Crawford County EMS, the amount of which has not yet been determined.