Three Hernando Beach Fire Chiefs Accused of Fraud
The three were chiefs with the Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department, which has been dissolved. One is now the Brooksville fire chief.
HERNANDO COUNTY – The Brooksville fire chief and two others were arrested Friday (Sept. 29) after a seven-month investigation into allegations of misappropriation of funds in the Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department, according to the Hernando Sheriff’s Office.
Current city of Brooksville fire Chief and former HBVFD Chief David Freda was arrested at 10:30 p.m. at the 7-11 at County Line Road and US 19 as a result of a traffic stop. Current city of Brooksville Fire Captain and former HBVFD Chief David Murdock was arrested at his secondary place of employment, Bayfront Health Dade City. Current FEMA employee and former HBVFD Chief Travis Morris was arrested at the Hernando County Emergency Operations Center. They were each charged with one count of organized fraud, more than $50,000, a first degree felony.
Earlier this year, the HBVD was dissolved. Hernando County Fire/Rescue now provides services to Hernando Beach residents.
The arrests came about as the result of a seven-month investigation stemming from allegations of misappropriation of funds at the HBVFD. Detectives with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Economic Crimes Unit said they worked closely with members of State Attorney Brad King’s office during the investigation.
Deputies said that, in order to maintain the integrity of the investigation, no further information can be released at this time.
But they are asking that anyone with first-hand information or evidence that may be pertinent to this case, to contact the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Economic Crimes Unit at (352) 754-6830. If you would like to remain anonymous, call Hernando County Crime Stoppers at 1-866-990-TIPS (8477) or submit your tip via the internet at hernandocountycrimestoppers.com . You will remain anonymous and also be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 cash.
For information about the Hernando sheriff, go to hernandosheriff.org.
Photo of David Freda, logo of Hernando Beach Volunteer Fire Department from facebook.com.
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