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Former Volunteer Fire Department Chief Indicted On Theft Charge

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Posted at 7:40 PM, Jul 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-07 08:55:07-04

COOKEVILLE, Tenn . – A former chief of an Overton County volunteer fire department has been indicted on a charge of theft.

The investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and investigators with the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury began at the request of the then-13th District Attorney General on May 8, 2014.

That investigation resulted in the indictment against 51-year-old Terry Lee Priest.

Agents with the TBI investigated a complaint of funds missing from the financial account of the Hardys Chapel Volunteer Fire Department in Cookeville.

After an audit of the department’s finances by the Comptroller’s office, the investigation revealed a cash shortage of at least $37,496.11 from January 1, 2013 through May 31, 2014.

It was found that the former chief, identified as Priest, was responsible for the theft.

Priest was charged July 17 with one count of theft over $10,000. He was arrested Thursday in Sparta and taken to the Overton County Jail where he was being held on a $40,000 bond.