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The former fire chief of the now-disbanded Swartswood Volunteer Fire Department has pled not guilty to falsifying government records. Anthony Ashley is accused of signing a vehicle registration renewal application with a false tax identification number.
The 53-year-old was reportedly offered a plea deal that would have him serve probation and complete community service but Ashley did not accept it. Instead his attorney provided a counter-offer.
Ashley's wife, Tami Richardson, used to be the treasurer/secretary of the organization and admitted to stealing $75,000 from the group over several years. She pleaded guilty to third-degree theft in exchange for 364 days in the Sussex County Jail and probation. Along with jail time, she will have to pay over $73,000 in restitution to the Board of Trustees.
Read the NJHerald.com story here.