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March 29, 2010

Firefighter indicted for stealing radio

Man charged is a volunteer for city department

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — A London volunteer firefighter accused of stealing county property was indicted by a Laurel County Grand Jury last week.

Gregory Brandon Wagers, 24, faces charges of abuse of public trust less than $10,000 for allegedly taking a Kenwood radio Jan. 15 that belongs to Laurel County Fiscal Court. He is also charged with receiving stolen property valued at $500 or more.

An indictment is a formal charge and does not imply guilt.

The radio, Common-wealth’s Attorney Jackie Steele said, is handheld and the property of the Laurel County Division of Public Safety/Emergency Management. The public safety division is under the umbrella of Laurel County Fiscal Court, and is also the recipient of Homeland Security funds.

Wagers volunteered with the Division of Public Safety, Director Zach Bryson said.

Though according to the indictment, Wagers took the radio “while an employee of the London Fire Department,” London Fire Department Chief Larry VanHook said Wagers is not a paid employee.

Steele said his office is revising the indictment to correct his employment status and his address.

VanHook said Wagers is still an active volunteer firefighter but his status could change.

“Our by-laws state that you cannot be a firefighter if you are a convicted felon,” VanHook said. “But on the presumption of innocent until proven guilty, he is still active.”

VanHook said he has not spoken with London Mayor Troy Rudder about the incident, but plans to do so to discuss whether Wagers should be suspended pending resolution of the case.

Staff writer Nita Johnson can be reached by e-mail at njohnson@sentinel-echo.com.

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Tate Sasser tags out a Trimble County runner at second base. North Laurel rolled to a 13-0 win in five innings. North Laurel also defeated Richmond to advance to last night’s championship game. If North won that game, they would face Lewis County again tonight.

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