Former Monteverde fire chief jailed on grand theft charges

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LAKE COUNTY, Fla. —

The former fire chief from Monteverde is now out of a job with the Groveland Fire Department.
 
Noel Fetters was arrested and charged with grand theft after Lake County sheriff's investigators said he used city money to buy fire equipment for himself.
 
According to investigators, Fetters, while employed by the city of Monteverde, purchased fire equipment that he took with him when he left his job.
 
"Documents show he used the city credit card to purchase a fire helmet and a pair of fire boots," said Jim Vachon with the sheriff's office.
 
Deputies said the helmet cost more than $700 and the boots around $200.
 
According to investigators, Fetters ordered the fire gear and had it shipped to his home, but he didn't have permission from the city to do so.
 
"He resigned his position in January of this year, and the helmet and the boots never got returned," said Vachon.
 
Vachon said city officials asked Fetters to return the equipment a number of times, which he said he did.
 
"Social media photos of him at a fire scene show him wearing the equipment well after the date he claimed he had already returned it," Vachon said.
 
Investigators said that once the social images of Fetters showed up they made an arrest.
 
Fetters, who has been working for the Groveland Fire Department, was fired from that job Friday.