A former fire chief in Seneca County is facing serious charges after a multi-agency investigation.
Former Border City Fire Chief John A. Morabito, 71, has been charged with felony counts of third- and fourth-degree grand larceny, following allegations of stealing over $16,000 in department funds between 2015 and 2021.
Morabito, who had a short stint as candidate for Seneca County sheriff, is accused of creating undisclosed bank sub-accounts under the department’s name, allegedly utilizing the funds for personal gain.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli condemned the alleged embezzlement as a “reprehensible violation of trust,” emphasizing the misused funds were intended for the support of the volunteer fire company.
The allegations detail that Morabito, in violation of the protocol, deposited donations, rental payments, and additional income into these unauthorized sub-accounts, also using the department’s credit card for $2,200 in personal purchases.
These transactions and the related undisclosed accounts were unknown to the overseeing fire commissioners.
Morabito retired from the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office in 2014.
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