Monroe Fire Company treasurer charged with stealing $400,000

MONROE – The treasurer of the Monroe Lakeside Fire and Rescue Company has been accused of stealing more than $400,000 in company funds.

Ian D. Harriton, 28, of the City of Monroe, has been charged with second-degree grand larceny, falsifying business documents and second-degree forgery, all felonies.

State police said an investigation found Harriton stole the money for personal use. But neither the state police nor the Orange County district attorney’s office could provide information on how Harriton spent the money.

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Private Steven Nevel, a spokesman for the Middletown-based State Police F Troop, said the money was stolen over a two-year period.

Police say the theft came to the attention of the fire company president when it was discovered the department’s bills had been months past due.

Harriton was arrested Thursday and released on an appearance ticket. He and his attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

Lakeside is one of three fire companies that merged in 2011 to form the Monroe Joint Fire District, along with Mombasha Fire Company and Harriman Engine Company. All three companies respond to all fire alarms in the district.

Attempts to reach fire company and district officials were unsuccessful on Friday.

Lakeside is staffed entirely by volunteers, like many fire departments in the Hudson Valley. Financial theft was a problem in several volunteer departments in the region in recent years, with some of these crimes resulting in charges and stricter oversight.

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