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Former fire chief jailed for theft

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The former chief of North Annville Township’s Union Water Works Fire Co. was sentenced to Lebanon County prison Wednesday for the theft of thousands of dollars meant for fire-company use. Gary L. Cutman, 58, of 523 Awol Road, Jonestown, was sentenced by President Judge John C. Tylwalk to six to 23 months behind bars and fined $600 for theft by deception.

Cutman was also ordered to pay restitution of more than $16,200.

He was charged in April last year after an investigation by Pennsylvania State Police revealed that he had submitted invoices totaling $16,000 to the Annville Area Firemen’s Relief Association for equipment purchases between November and February while he was still chief of the volunteer fire company.

Cutman cashed the checks but never made the purchases, police said.

The hundreds of volunteer firefighter relief associations across Pennsylvania are funded with money that comes from the state through a 2 percent “foreign fire tax.” The tax is levied on insurance premiums issued by out-of-state insurance companies. The funds can be used by the fire companies to pay for items like equipment, training, and insurance.

None of the money in question was from Union Water Works’ own accounts, local fire officials said.

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