The Cumberland County Grand Jury, meeting in regular session on April 29, indicted the former treasurer of the Fairfield Glade Fire Department on a single charge relating to over a quarter of a million dollars missing from the department.
James Charles “Jim” Botbyl, 43, 158 Norcross Rd., is charged with one count of theft of property of more than $60,000 in the indictment.
The indictment states that $239,559.78 is documented as missing from the volunteer department.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt, but a review of pending charges by a citizen panel called the grand jury that decided there was enough evidence to forward the charge to a higher court for further action.
Botbyl turned himself in to authorities on Tuesday shortly before 6 p.m. and was released under $50,000 bond just over two hours later, after undergoing booking at the Justice Center.
The indictment charges that between Oct. 1, 2017, and Sept. 13, 2018, the listed funds were found to be missing from the department and had been taken without authorization.
The case was investigated by Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Gary Green and lists fire department members Terry McCarthy, Vince Peters and Bobby Smith as witnesses.
In the Sept. 27, 2018, meeting of the Fairfield Glade board, FGFD President Bob Terafonte announced that Botbyl had been placed on “administrative leave” after First National Bank had reported irregularities with the FGFD’s account.
The information was forwarded to Fairfield Glade Police who, in turn, contacted the sheriff’s office and the District Attorney’s Office for assistance in the investigation.
At that meeting, Terafonte told the board and attendees, “Now, I have to tell you. There was a financial hit and we’re working with that. But, we’re fully functional. We’re able to go after and take care of all the residents and maintain our calls, so we haven’t been hampered in that way.”
Terafonte added, “We are taking things seriously … We’e doing a bunch of initiatives to get our financial house in order, to have more reporting …”
Among the actions taken by the board was to contact certified public accounts seeking a three-year contract to audit the department’s books.