PRYOR, OK — CNHI News Service
A former Cherokee County volunteer fire chief was indicted Thursday by a multicounty grand jury in Oklahoma City, according to court documents.
Roger Dale Fine, 54, was indicted on 16 counts of delivery of a forged note or instrument and one count of embezzlement, the documents state. Fine, who was fire chief of the Peggs Volunteer Fire Department, is accused of forging signatures on the department’s bank account at First State Bank in Tahlequah. Only Fine, Roger Dale Fine Jr. (known as Dale Fine), and Kyle Scott were authorized on the account to sign checks, make deposits and/or transfers, the documents state.
The embezzlement count states that all three men were required to sign a check “to pay the approved expenses of the Peggs Volunteer Fire Department,” but were instead used by Roger Dale Fine “for gambling, personal enrichment, and other unlawful purposes.” The indictment alleges Fine fraudulently appropriated more than $4,725 “to use or purpose not intended or authorized in the course of his office as Fire Chief for the Peggs Volunteer Fire Department.” The indictment states that on numerous occasions Roger Dale Fine forged the signature of Dale Fine from January 2011 to July 2012 to:
• Bob’s Mini Mart, $75. • Bob’s Mini Mart, $60. • Cale Fine, $80. • Cale Fine, $256. • Mel’s Diner, $138. • Cale Fine, $80. • Mel’s Diner, $48. • Mel’s Diner, $89. • Peggs Hardware, $224. • Melody’s Dine and More, $120. • Peggs Hardware, $265. • Mel’s Diner, $87. • Mel’s, $85. • Cale Fine, $50. • Cale Fine, $50. • Mel’s Diner, $65.
Delivery of a forged note or instrument is punishable by imprisonment up to seven years. Embezzlement of more than $1,000, but less than $25,000 is punishable by imprisonment up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000 and an order to pay restitution, the indictment states.
Roger Dale Fine resigned as the Peggs chief earlier this year, when the allegations surfaced.
As of Thursday morning, he remained employed as a Cherokee County sheriff's deputy.
Elizabeth Ridenour, of the Muskogee Phoenix, authored this story and the Tahlequah Daily Press added some information.