BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) – The former fire marshal of Bladen County went before a judge Monday, pleading guilty to two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretense, according to a news release from the office of District Attorney Jon David.
Byrd was just one of a number of public figures indicted in 2011, according to the DA's office. An investigation was launched after allegations of financial crimes involving the misuse and misappropriation of public funds were brought to light.
Byrd was indicted on 25 counts of obtaining property by false pretense from November 14, 2005 to March 3, 2009, according to court documents.
Byrd pleaded as part of a plea agreement, which required him to pay $6,000 restitution to the County of Bladen on the date of his plea.
He was also sentenced to two consecutive sentences of a minimum of five months and a maximum of six months in the North Carolina Department of Corrections. However, those sentences were suspended so that Byrd is instead being placed on unsupervised probation for 24 months.
Byrd was accused of receiving more than $11,000 in cash or refund checks from the recreation retailer Cabela's. It claims that he wrote purchase orders for items, then returned them for a refund without the knowledge of county government.
According to the documents, he either cashed the refund checks or bought "non-approved" items with store credit.
The county will hold a public sale for all of the items taken during the investigation, with proceeds going towards the Board of Education.
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