A former Lincolnton Fire Department assistant fire chief was sentenced to six months in jail after pleading guilty to embezzling $29,339 from a burned children fund, the State Bureau of Investigation announced Wednesday.
William Fortenberry, 50, admitted stealing the money from the Lincoln County chapter of the N.C. Firefighters’ Burned Children Fund Inc., the SBI said.
Fortenberry also admitted embezzling $4,809 from the Pisgah United Methodist Church – United Men’s Organization in Lincolnton, according to the SBI. Fortenberry was treasurer of the organization.
Lincolnton police asked the SBI in September to help investigate money missing from the Burned Children Fund. Fortenberry was arrested in February after a Lincoln County grand jury indicted him on nine counts of embezzlement.
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He pleaded guilty to the nine counts on July 5, according to the SBI, and received two suspended sentences of six to 17 months and the active sentence of six months.
Fortenberry also was given 30 months’ probation. He was ordered to pay all of the money back and not hold a position of trust over money during his probation.