Melton had been indicted on multiple counts of allged misappropriation of fiduciary property.
A source told The Gilmer Mirror on Wednesday that Melton was supposed to resign on April 1, but paperwork wasn’t ready.
A copyrighted story by Phillip Williams in the Jan. 5 edition of The Mirror reported that former Gilmer Fire Chief Mike Melton was indicted in late December on a felony charge of stealing funds from the Gilmer Volunteer Fire Department, Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd said..
The Upshur County Grand Jury returned a sealed indictment alleging multiple counts of misapplication of fiduciary property, Byrd told The Mirror.
Melton turned himself in to the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office about 10 a.m. on Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve, and was released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond set by 115th District Judge Lauren Parish, Byrd said.
The indictment against Melton, which Byrd said followed an investigation lasting about three months, came during the same Grand Jury session in which three elected Upshur County officials were indicted on misdemeanor charges unrelated to Melton’s case.
The state alleges Melton took between $1,500 and $20,000 during a 2-year period beginning in January, 2008, Byrd said. The district attorney also said in the January article that he expected evidence to show that the amount “is at the highest end of that range.”
Misapplication of fiduciary property in that range is punishable by confinement in state jail, Byrd said.
Melton, the mostly-volunteer department’s chief since January 2005, resigned in October shortly before Byrd announced he was the target of a “criminal investigation.”
Byrd said then that the probe involved Melton’s use of the volunteer fire department’s funds and credit card.
Melton said at the time he had no comment on the investigation.
At a meeting in January, the department volunteers elected assistant chief Jerry Taylor as its chief.