Va. Fire Chief sentenced in fraud case

BUENA VISTA, Va. (AP) - Buena Vista's former fire chief has been sentenced to two years in prison for collecting almost $22,000 for swift water rescue courses he wasn't certified to teach.

Butch Lawhorn pleaded guilty in April to 11 counts of forgery and 11 counts of obtaining money by false pretenses. Media outlets report he was sentenced Friday in Buena Vista Circuit Court.

Judge Michael Irvine ordered Lawhorn to fully reimburse fire departments n at least six jurisdictions that paid to send employees to Lawhorn's classes. Lawhorn claimed he took the money to buy equipment for the Buena Vista swift water rescue team.

Commonwealth's Attorney Christopher Russell says he apologized to the firefighters he deceived.


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