New Market fire chief indicted on theft charges

(Photo: New Market Fire Department)

NEW MARKET (WATE) – An East Tennessee fire department chief was indicted by a grand jury.

New Market Fire Department Chief Frank Solomon was indicted by a grand jury in April on one count of theft over $1,000, one count of sales tax fraud over $500, one count of theft under $500, and two counts of official misconduct.

The Tennessee State Comptroller’s office alleges Solomon stole at least $1,105 from the fire department by charging personal purchases to fire department accounts at several auto parts stores. The comptroller says he used the auto parts for his personal vehicles, a family member’s personal vehicle and vehicles owned by others he had been contracted to repair.

He’s also alleged to have misused the fire department’s sales tax exemption and vehicle title registration discount by registering a Dodge Charge he bought with personal funds in the fire department’s name.

Solomon had said the vehicle was to be used “exclusively for fire protection purposes.” Solomon is also an elected constable in Jefferson County and the comptroller says he placed decals and other markings on the Charger indicating it as a constable car and used it for both fire department and constable purposes.

The comptroller’s office says Solomon admitted to both charging personal purchases to the fire department accounts and using the Charger for duties not related to the fire department.

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