Tahlequah Daily Press

October 29, 2013

Former fire chief bonds out of jail

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — A former Peggs fire chief indicted last week on 16 counts of forgery and one count of embezzlement turned himself in Monday morning and was released on a $1,000 bond.

Roger D. Fine, 54, was indicted by a multi-county grand jury and accused of forging checks from the Peggs Volunteer Fire Department. Charges allege Fine took $4,725 “for gambling, personal enrichment, and other unlawful purposes.”

When the indictment was made public, Cherokee County Sheriff Norman Fisher placed Fine – a sheriff’s deputy and school resource officer – on paid suspension.

Fine was fired Monday morning, according to the sheriff’s office.

The indictment alleges Fine misappropriated Peggs VFD funds from August 2009 through November 2012.

Allegations against Fine surfaced earlier this year, and he stepped aside as the chief, calling the accusations a “misunderstanding.” He also said the truth would be revealed with a review of the department’s financial records.

According to the charges, Fine wrote checks to several local businesses and forged the signature of Dale Fine, a relative who was a co-signatory on the Peggs VFD bank account. The indictment alleges Dale Fine did not sign the checks himself, and did not give Roger Fine permission to sign the checks on his behalf.

If convicted of embezzlement, Roger Fine could face not more than five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, and an order for restitution.

Delivery of a forged note or instrument is punishable by not more than seven years in prison.

jnewton@tahlequahdailypress.com