Former fire department secretary charged with theft

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Former Hots Springs Rural Fire Department secretary and bookkeeper Lara Aldridge has pleaded not guilty to charges of felony theft.

Court documents state that Aldridge had allegedly written checks upward of $35,000; essentially taking money away from the fire departments funds.

Between 2014 and 2017, it is suspected that Aldridge had written 15 unauthorized checks from the fire departments accounts to herself, the 4-H Little Bitterroot and the Lone Pine Alumni Association.

Court documents allege that with checks written, the memo for fund allocations were used under wages or supplies.

Document reports also claim that the fire department was aware of over-drafts but not aware it was allegedly Aldridge who had been writing the unauthorized cheques.

Aldridge will face a jury trial in June. She faces a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison.

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