SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A former Cal Fire captain who made more than $7,000 worth of inappropriate purchases on fuel and credit cards belonging to the fire agency was sentenced Wednesday to three years probation.
Scott Mackellar, who worked in Pine Valley, pleaded guilty July 26 to a felony charge of theft of public funds, Deputy District Attorney Leon Schorr said.
Judge Eugenia Eyherabide reduced the charge to a misdemeanor after the 36-year-old defendant paid back all of the money, but she also ordered him not to work for "any type of emergency services, such as police, fire or EMS" during the period of his probation.
A Cal Fire investigation uncovered Mackellar's misappropriations. Co-workers noticed questionable purchases being made by the defendant and notified their supervisors, according to Cal Fire officials.
Battalion Chief John Francois told City News Service that Mackellar, a resident of the small mountain town of Guatay, used a Cal Fire Shell card to fuel up his personal vehicle, and used an agency credit card to purchase computer gear for himself at Staples and buy other items at The Home Depot.
"It's a violation of public trust," Francois said.
The chief said Mackellar was with the Pine Valley Fire Protection District, a low-paid volunteer outfit, until the county paid it $1.4 million and folded it into Cal Fire, part of the county's ongoing effort to consolidate rural firefighting organizations.
As part of that change, Mackellar became a highly paid captain for three years and five months, Francois said.
The chief said the defendant resigned May 16, following a one-month Cal Fire internal investigation.
The judge stayed 120 days in county jail pending successful completion of probation, and ordered him to perform five days or work service.
Several dogs were taken into the custody of San Diego County and put down, after a Lomita woman reported that her six dogs were attacked and some killed by a group of pit bulls.
Temperatures are expected to rise slightly on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service, but will remain cooler than normal.
John Coleman, a long-serving San Diego weatherman and founder of The Weather Channel, has died at the age of 83.
Thousands of people marched through downtown San Diego and San Marcos in the second annual Women's March Saturday. The San Diego event began at 10 a.m. at the downtown Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, while the North County event began at 11 a.m. at Palomar College.
Thousands of people marched through downtown San Diego and San Marcos in the second annual Women's March Saturday. The San Diego event began at 10 a.m. at the downtown Waterfront Park on Pacific Highway, while the North County event began at 11 a.m. at Palomar College. The two marches were held in conjunction with other marches across the country.
The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, which prompted the closure of many federal operations, such as national parks and monuments and that included the shutdown of Cabrillo National Monument.
A transient accused of fatally stabbing a man after they got into an argument near a 7-Eleven store in Poway pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge.
Coastal rail closures could complicate the commute for the thousands of people expected at Women's Marches set for downtown San Diego and San Marcos Saturday, though additional transit options are being made available.
A man arrested in the doctor's lounge at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa after claiming to be an anesthesiologist pleaded not guilty Friday to a felony charge of treating the sick without a certificate.
People who bought new homes in Otay Ranch's Village of Escaya can start moving in Friday - later than planned but after the developer took steps to address methane found at the site.