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Former Oak Forest fire chief charged with stealing city money to repair car

Oak Forest Fire Department Facebook photo

An Oak Forest firefighter who previously worked as the city’s fire chief has been charged with stealing from the city.

David Griffin, currently a lieutenant with the Oak Forest Fire Department, was arrested Friday and charged with official misconduct, theft of government funds and forgery, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

Griffin, 42, is accused of using city funds to pay for work on his personal vehicle, prosecutors said. Between Oct. 31, 2014, and Oct. 16, 2016, he allegedly signed off on forged invoices and purchase orders, claiming that he was paying for repairs to a Chevrolet Impala owned by the city and registered for fire department use.

An investigation revealed that those repairs were never done to the city vehicle and the work was actually done on Griffin’s personal Pontiac Grand Prix, according to court documents. A total of $3,623.24 was paid by the city of Oak Forest to repair the Pontiac.

Griffin submitted a letter of resignation as fire chief on March 18, 2016, according to Oak Forest City Council meeting records. The city council accepted his resignation at its March 22, 2016 meeting.

Griffin appeared in court for a bail hearing on Wednesday and has been released on his own recognizance, according to the state’s attorney’s office. His next court appearance was set for Jan. 25 at the Bridgeview Courthouse.

Oak Forest City Administrator Troy Ishler said in a statement Thursday afternoon that Griffin was placed on paid administrative leave after his arrest “pending an internal investigation.”