NE Oregon fire chief charged with Bend FD theft

Also faces official misconduct over gear purchase

BEND, Ore. - A Deschutes County grand jury has indicted a former northeast Oregon fire chief on theft and official misconduct charges, District Attorney John Hummel said Friday. He's accused of saying he was buying a piece of gear from the Bend Fire Department for the fire district -- to get a hefty discount -- when it was actually for his own personal use.

The allegedly false claim meant that Daniel Weitz, 60, of Baker City, was able to buy the surplus self-contained breathing apparatus compressor for $1,000 -- a $4,000 discount from the price of $5,000 fair market value he otherwise would have paid, Hummel said.

Thursday's indictment charges the former Baker Rural Fire Protection District chief with theft by deception and first-degree official misconduct. He is due to be in court  in Bend on the charges on Jan. 11.

The indictment says the crimes occurred between May 18 and August 14 of this year. Hummel told NewsChannel 21 the timeframe involved "back and forth negotiations, then he came here and picked it up with a flatbed trailer."

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