Minden Press-Herald

Thursday
Oct 02nd

Former chief to serve six months

David_CampSpringhill's former fire chief will spend the next six months in jail after entering a guilty plea to unauthorized use of an access card.

On Tuesday, Judge E. Joseph Bleich sentenced David Camp to three years parish jail time, suspending all but six months.

According to a spokesperson for the Bossier/Webster District Attorney's office, Camp will also spend three years under active supervised probation with 150 hours of community service upon release.

Camp pled guilty on September 20, the same day he made restitution for more than $13,000.

Following several weeks of investigation in the early spring of this year, Webster Parish Sheriff's detectives arrested Camp for unauthorized use of an access device as theft over $5,000 and malfeasance in office.

WPSO investigators Scott Tucker and Tommy Kemp, Jr. obtained warrants for Camp and took him into custody at the Webster Parish Courthouse April 3.

Detectives began their investigation after they were contacted by Bossier-Webster District Attorney Schuyler Marvin.

"He (Marvin) had received information in reference to some misuse of funds," Tucker said. "We tracked down the accounting records and discovered that in a 2009 audit by Jamieson, Wise and Martin, the Springhill Fire Department was written up because Camp had used the department credit card and fire department funds for personal purchases totalling more than $2,000."

Tucker said the local CPA firm informed Camp and Fire District 11 that to do so was a violation of the law and it needed to be stopped.

At the time, Tucker said Camp responded that it would not happen again and would transfer the charges to his personal credit card.

According to reports, from January, 2008 until March, 2012, more than $4,000 in personal fuel purchases were made.

"Most of the purchases had been made during the past year," Tucker said. "They are a fire department and they get a discounted rate."

While going through the fire department's financial records, investigators noticed Camp continued to use the official credit card to make personal purchases.

"He made an effort to pay some of those charges back in 2011," Tucker said. "Statements from 2010 show even more purchases."

The 2011 statement showed Camp had made questionable purchases totalling more than $12,000.

"Some of those were to restaurants," Tucker said. One to a veterinarian, one was for a computer tax program ... fishing equipment, cold medicine and walking shoes."

In early March, Camp resigned when he learned he was under investigation. Prior to that, he was the only full-time employee in Fire District 11.

"That means at least eight hours a day, he was on duty," Tucker said.

Camp was paid $37,788 as fire chief and $3,840 as secretary/treasurer of the board. His three weeks vacation cost the district an additional $2,313. Insurance for his family cost the district $17,000. He also had perks such as a command vehicle, fuel card and cell phone.

Reports show that out of 88 fire calls answered by the district in 2011, Camp received volunteer pay ($20 per call) in addition to his regular salary.

"If he was off duty, it was legal for him to receive that funding," the detective said. "But he was on duty for 39 of those calls."

Tucker said the investigation will continue as detectives look into Camp's retirement, as well as the 2010 fire district accounts.

"We do believe his wife was also using the gas card," he said. "But since she was not an employee of the fire department, we cannot verify it – at this time."

Interim Fire Chief Billy Rasberry Jr. now serves as Springhill's Fire Chief.

 

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