TV-6 Investigates: Missing Money From Coal Valley Fireman's Auxi - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

TV-6 Investigates: Missing Money From Coal Valley Fireman's Auxiliary Fund

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Two former Coal Valley fire department volunteers head to court next week.

One is charged with theft, the other, obstruction of justice.

The charges stem from money taken from the Coal Valley fireman's auxiliary fund.

Laurie Mitchell faces one charge of theft.

The felony description says she had unauthorized control of between $500 and $10,000 from the auxiliary fund between 2009 and 2014. Read the document here.

Her husband James Mitchell faces one charge of obstruction of justice.

The felony description says he concealed evidence from the fire department that would show money was missing from the auxiliary fund.

Read the document here.

Both James and Laurie Mitchell are now former volunteers in the department.

The fire chief says James resigned his assistant chief's position and Laurie was let go of her job responding to medical calls before the couple was arrested.

They're both charged in connection with the theft of money from the Coal Valley fireman's auxiliary fund.

The fund does not contain any tax dollars. It's made up of donations from community members.

Laurie was the treasurer of the fund. It was used to buy meals for firefighters putting out long lasting fires.

The money also supported the Village's Easter egg hunt, and bought food baskets for the needy for Thanksgiving.

The auxiliary fund is not a registered charity.

There are no documents in either IRS or Illinois charity tax reporting databases.

It was also not connected to the operations of the Coal Valley Fire Protection District.

It relied strictly on donations to operate.

The couple is being represented by the same defense attorney.

A message left for him was not returned Wednesday.

James is a full time firefighter for the Rock Island Arsenal Fire Department.

The Arsenal Public Affairs Officer would not comment on whether James faces any discipline, or if he's on any sort of leave from his full time job.

We tried talking to Laurie at her home, she did not want to talk to us.

The couple's preliminary hearing in court is set for March 25th at 11.

The fire chief tells TV-6 since this was discovered the district has put policies into place to check on the auxiliary fund.

It will also begin to be audited yearly.

Illinois financial records show the fire district is not required to file an audit with the state.

TV-6 has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for further information.

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