Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

March 8, 2014

Plea deal arranged for ex-fire chief

TAHLEQUAH — A former Cherokee County volunteer fire chief has agreed to plead guilty to forgery and embezzlement charges in exchange for a suspended sentence and payment of restitution.

Roger Dale Fine, 54, was indicted in October by a multicounty grand jury in Oklahoma City. He was indicted on 16 counts of delivery of a forged note or instrument and one count of embezzlement, documents state.

Fine is the former chief of the Peggs Volunteer Fire Department. He is accused of forging signatures on the department’s account at First State Bank of Tahlequah.

The plea agreement states that the prosecutor will recommend to the court that Fine receive a four-year suspended sentence and pay $10,000 in restitution, court documents state.

Only three people — 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, court documents state.

According to the indictment, 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, Cale Fine, Mel’s Diner, Peggs Hardware and Melody’s Dine and More.

The plea agreement also calls for Fine to:

• Return his CLEET card and to agree to never again obtain CLEET certification.

• Never seek or obtain employment as a firefighter for any level of government, whether federal, state, county, or municipal.

• Never seek or obtain a position as a volunteer firefighter again.

• Never again be in a position of authority over state funds.

The agreement is binding but will not be official until presented to the court during an April 14 hearing in Cherokee County District Court, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

Fine has resigned as the fire chief and also as a Cherokee County sheriff’s deputy.

Reach Anita Reding at (918) 684-2903 or areding@muskogeephoenix.com.

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