MOUNT VERNON — Former Mount Vernon Fire Department Chief Shawn T. Christy was indicted on 19 counts on Tuesday by the Knox County grand jury.
Related stories in the city of Mount Vernonís investigation into allegations against Mount Vernon Fire Chief Shawn Christy
According to Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher, charges against Christy, 39, Centerburg, include theft in office, deception and tampering with government records, among others.
The indictment alleges between Jan. 1, 2009, and Aug. 26, 2011, Christy committed theft in office by receiving paramedic compensation in addition to his salary totaling $5,194.52, by deceiving his former employer, the city of Mount Vernon, and beyond the scope of the city’s consent.
He is being charged with two counts of theft in office, a third-degree felony.
Ten tampering with government records charges, third-degree felonies, were included in the indictment which stated Christy falsified his emergency medical services training records so that it would appear he was complying with paramedic continuing education requirements.
According to the indictment, “Christy, knowing that he had no privilege to do so, and with purpose to defraud or knowing that he was facilitating a fraud, falsified, destroyed, removed, concealed, altered, defaced or mutilated any writing, computer software, data or record, to wit: emergency medical service training records.”
The indictment, which includes two counts of forgery, alleges Christy forged the signature of a former EMS training coordinator on the face of an emergency medical services training certificate. Forgery is a fifth-degree felony.
The five falsification counts accuse Christy of making false statements to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Medical Services, about his continuing education requirements. Falsification is a first-degree misdemeanor.
The case was investigated by Detective Craig Fenney, Mount Vernon Police Department.
Christy’s EMS certification remains in limbo as the ODPS has yet to rule on its investigation into his recertification credits.
Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis told the News this morning he was not aware of the recent indictment against Christy but said he suspected the case was not closed after the city procured Christy’s resignation.
“[The resignation] was more administrative,” Mavis said. “I suspected that it wasn’t finished, so to speak. ... Once we accepted the resignation, administration accomplished the separation that we wanted to receive between the city and Shawn Christy. The investigation was mostly done, although some things were added by the (Ohio) Department of Public Safety, with Rob (Broeren) and the (MVPD) detective. I suspected they didn’t stop working once we had the commitment for a resignation.”
Mavis explained city firefighters are paid a stipend of $2,000 a year for keeping their credentials current and believes it is these funds from which the theft in office charges were conceived.
“It goes back to those credentials,” Mavis said. “If he didn’t have the credentials, he was paid money he didn’t deserve.”
“This has been a great disappointment from the beginning,” Mavis said. “... It’s a sad day because we put a lot of trust in his leadership and it has been proved that was not the correct thing to do.”
Christy is scheduled for an arraignment on Sept. 16 at 9 a.m., before Common Pleas Court Judge Otho Eyster.
A message asking for comment was left with Christy.