Two governing board members and the interim chief of the Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District have entered not guilty pleas for misuse of public monies and conflict of interest charges. Interim Chief Wayne Eder and board member Vic Riccardi were arraigned before Mohave County Superior Court Judge Rick Lambert on Monday, July 17.
Eder is represented by private attorney Lee Novak while Riccardi is being provided indigent defense by the Public Defender’s office. Private attorney Bryan Whitney is representing Board member Sue Wilkin who waived her appearance after previously filing a not guilty plea with the Court.
The charges involve Eder’s award of a fire district truck repair job to Riccardi’s auto shop without knowledge or approval of the full board. This occurred while Eder was an applicant for promotion to the Fire Chief’s position.
Wilkin allegedly served as a courier, delivering an invoice to the district office and the $1,357 check for the work to Riccardi.
Judge Lambert explained that the misuse of public monies charge is punishable by up to 3.75 years in prison while the conflict of interest charge can bring up to two years in prison. He also noted that both offenses can result in probation and possible jail time.
Judge Lambert scheduled August 7 case management hearings for each of the defendants.