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Former St. Paul's fire chief, grant administrator to be sentenced

Doc Matthews (File/WCIV)

The sentencing for two former St. Paul's Fire District employees convicted of theft from the agency is scheduled to Tuesday.

Former St. Paul's fire chief Doc Matthews and a grant administrator for the fire department named Mary Jo Thomas-Delaney were each found guilty by a jury on July 28.

The charges stemmed from actions by Matthews, Delaney and former assistant fire chief Charles Riddle. The St. Paul's Fire Department received a FEMA grant in 2009 worth more than $1.6 million to build a new fire station. Prosecutors argue the three embezzled more than $211,000 of the grant money.

The fraud began when prosecutors say Matthews got a fire commissioner to approve a contract for Delaney to serve as administrator of the grant.

The approved contract was for $31,275 to pay Delaney, but prosecutors claim Matthews, Riddle and Delaney later drafted another agreement for much more money, which they did not get approved.

From that second contract, prosecutors say Delaney ultimately received $211,097, and used that money to pay herself $63,597, pay Riddle $40,000, pay Matthews $37,500, and pay two other employees $35,000 each.

Prosecutors say Matthews tried to hide what he was doing by donating 200 vacation hours to Riddle, then asking Riddle to cash in the hours, and kick back the cash to him.

In February 2016, Matthews laid off six volunteer firefighters from the St. Paul's Fire Department. Matthews told ABC News 4 at the time the layoffs were the result of budget constraints for the department.

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