Ex-Brewer fire lieutenant charged with felony theft

Posted Aug. 24, 2011, at 10:56 a.m.
Last modified Aug. 24, 2011, at 11:33 a.m.

BREWER, Maine — A fire lieutenant who was fired last month after city officials discovered funds missing from the Brewer Fireman’s Relief Association was charged this week with felony theft, Brewer police Capt. Jason Moffitt said Tuesday.

Dennis Tinkham, a firefighter for the Brewer Fire Department for more than a dozen years, was charged with Class C theft, which applies to thefts of more than $1,000, the police captain said.

He was fired on July 15 by City Manager Steve Bost, who has said that between $5,000 and $10,000 was missing from the firefighters’ account. Bost said earlier this month that Tinkham acknowledged having removed money from the account.

Tinkham “was relieved of his duties and terminated” after officials discovered “discrepancies between what he provided us and [information] from the bank,” Fire Chief Gary Parent said after the firing.

He said the amount missing from the fund was “substantial.”

Tinkham had served as treasurer since April 2006 of the local fireman’s relief association, which is a firefighter-supported group that provides death benefits for families left behind when a firefighter dies.

“He was here for 14 years and he made a very, very dumb decision,” the fire chief said. “He knew he would be caught.”

If convicted of the felony theft charge, Tinkham could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

The former Brewer firefighter has since moved to Auburn, Parent said. His phone number was not listed, and several email messages seeking comment have not been returned.

Tinkham became a lieutenant a decade ago and also was the city’s fire inspector.

Parent announced Tuesday that 23-year veteran firefighter Ralph Cammack, brother of Bangor’s Fire Chief Jeff Cammack, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and will be the department’s new fire inspector.