ALBANY, N.Y. – The former treasurer of Selkirk Fire Department's House #3 has been arrested on charges of allegedly stealing over $18,000 from a fire department account.
Albany County Sheriff, Craig D. Apple Sr., reports Heather Lynn Burns, 38, of Selkirk, was arrested on charges of allegedly stealing over $18,000 from a fire department account that she was responsible for from January 2012 to October of 2013.
The case began when the department discovered unauthorized direct payments to a cellular telephone company from their account.
Sheriff's Investigators conducted a three month long investigation which led to the discovery of over forty unauthorized transactions from the fire department's account over the past two years. The unauthorized transactions consisted of money transfers, checks written to cash, checks written out to Heather Burns, cash withdrawals, and direct web payments to credit cards, utility companies, and insurance carriers.
Burns turned herself into investigators with her attorney and was charged with Grand Larceny in the third degree, a Class "D" felony. Burns was arraigned in the Town of Bethlehem Court and released on her own recognizance.
This investigation is still open with additional charges pending.
The Selkirk Fire Department and Selkirk Fire District released a statement Friday clarifying that the funds lost were raised by the company and were not in any way tax-payer funds.
"The Selkirk Fire Department is a close knit family and we are all saddened by the actions of one individual. The impact of those actions not only effect the members of the Department but the members of the South Bethlehem Community", said Chairman Charles Wickham, Selkirk Fire District.
The Selkirk Fire Department consists of three companies, Company # 1 is located in Selkirk, Company # 2 is located in Glenmont and Company #3 is located in South Bethlehem.
In addition to new financial practices, Burns was terminated immediately from the Department.