Two officers of the Bagley Fire Department, who are mother and son, have been charged with taking money from the volunteer emergency responder group for their personal use.
In separate charges coming out of the same investigation, onetime Clerk-Treasurer Jodi Moris felony theft from a business setting, while then-Chief Ryne Jackley was charged with a misdemeanor.
In the investigation, it was estimated Moris had taken a total of $14,990.19 over the course of two years, of which she had paid back $2,309.95 back to the department.
Jackley took a total of $1,323.05 over the same time, and according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, has paid back most, if not all, of the funds he borrowed from the volunteer department’s accounts.
The charges stem from an alert the banking institution the department has their account at reported to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office “suspicious activity,” according to the criminal complaint.
Dan Reuter from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office reviewed transactions over a two-year period, and created a spreadsheet of 107 suspect charges and withdrawals from the account.
Some of those transactions were deemed a normal part of department operations, but Reuter found 84 he attributed to Moris, while three were attributed to Jackley, and talked with both.
In there leadership positions, Moris and Jackley were the only members who had access to the Department account.
During his discussion with Moris, according to the complaint, “she provided reasonable explanations for some of the transactions, but that most of the transactions she either could not explain or indicated that she had withdrawn the money from the account for her own personal use.”
Of those suspicious charges, Moris had returned $1,850 to the account, according to the criminal complaint, along with $459.95 that was used to purchase concert tickets, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
That left a hole of $12,680.24 in the accounts unpaid.
The charge against Moris is a Class G Felony, which has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, and a $25,000 fine.
As for the three transactions attributed to Jackley, he explained to Reuter that on July 9, 2020 he withdrew $1,200 as he was purchasing a vehicle. The March 30 withdrawal of $100 was because he was “short” that week, and a purchase at Walmart attributed to the department for $23.05 was in fact personal.
Jackley is charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which has a maximum penalty of up to nine months in jail, and a $10,000 fine.
Both are to be in court for preliminary hearings on June 7.
Both have been on the Bagley fire Department for 14 years.