- Associated Press - Friday, June 6, 2014

CONIFER, Colo. (AP) - A former fire chief in the foothills west of Denver who confessed to embezzling nearly $700,000 says he had a shopping addiction.

In an interview with The High Timber Times, former Inter-Canyon Fire Protection District chief David MacBean apologized for using tax money to buy personal guitars, ammunition, photography equipment and other goods.

MacBean says he was battling depression and that using the agency credit card for personal purchases proved easy.

“It was easy, and I was able to get away with it,” MacBean said in an interview published Friday.

MacBean acknowledged that his “addictive tendencies” played a significant role as well.

“I started to believe that if I could surround myself with stuff, that I could be happy,” he said.

MacBean faces up to 27 years in prison at sentencing on June 24. He pleaded guilty on April 7 to stealing more than $647,000 over three years from the department.

MacBean also apologized for the crime and said he hopes to repay the money.

“The victims of my crime are very far-reaching,” MacBean told the Times. “There is nothing I can say that would justify the decisions I have made. For me, it’s important for people to understand I feel terrible about this. And, most importantly, what I’m doing about it.”

MacBean said he has also entered intensive therapy on his own initiative.

“It’s painful to see how much my addictions have affected my life,” MacBean said.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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