By Associated Press - Wednesday, February 24, 2021

FULTON, Mo. (AP) - The former president of the Fulton firefighters union has been charged with stealing from the union.

Scott Peterson, 47, of Fulton, was charged Wednesday with felony stealing.

The theft was discovered when a new treasurer for the Fulton Professional Firefighters Local 2945 reviewed financial statements and found transactions inconsistent with how union funds are normally spent, according to arrest documents.

The transactions dating between May 2016 and November 2020 amount to $30,595, the Jefferson City News-Tribune reported.

Peterson was treasurer and president of the union during those years.

The transactions were described in arrest documents as of “an obvious personal nature” occurring in locations such as Florida, Indiana, Maryland and California.

Peterson told Callaway County Sheriff Clay Chism during an interview that financial difficulties led to the thefts, according to a probable cause statement. He reportedly admitted to 130 fraudulent transactions totaling $22,622.

Peterson was unsure if other transactions were fraudulent, Chism said, and an investigation into those transactions is continuing.

The Boone County prosecutor’s office is acting as special prosecutor in the case.

Peterson resigned as union president during the investigation and resigned from the fire department after his arrest. He was released from custody and has a court appearance scheduled for April 9.

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