Three former firefighters in Mount Vernon have been charged with theft.The state auditor conducted a review, and found about six-thousand dollars of questionable and improper spending in the Mount Vernon Fire Department. Forty-year-old Paul Pata and 24-year-old Jessica West of Mount Vernon have been charged with second-degree theft. Thirty-seven-year-old Brian Norton of Bertram was the department’s secretary/treasurer and he faces third-degree theft charges. The state audit showed department money was improperly spent to cover things like rent, car payments and Christmas parties and gifts. Pata, who had been the fire department’s chief, has already paid back about 35-hundred dollars to the department. All three were suspended from their jobs in March and the locks were changed on the department’s offices. The three later resigned from their posts.
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