Embezzlement charge dismissed for 2nd time against fire chief regarding raffle


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BENNINGTON, Vermont — For the second time, an embezzlement charge has been dropped against a former Vermont fire chief stemming from a department-sponsored raffle.

Joseph Hayes, who was Bennington Rural Fire Department Chief, had pleaded not guilty in 2013. Police investigated complaints that he mishandled raffle tickets. Police said some people who won prizes never received them and that money paid for tickets was never turned over to the department.

A judge dismissed the charge last year, but it was refiled. The Bennington Banner reports (http://bit.ly/1PXmETM) the Bennington County State's Attorney's Office dismissed the charge on April 8 without prejudice, meaning it could be filed again.

Hayes' attorney, William Wright, said his own investigation showed Hayes had paid the money to raffle winners, the ones he knew about, as he had explained.

Information from: Bennington Banner, http://www.benningtonbanner.com

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