The former fire chief of a small Florence County department is facing embezzlement and fraud charges, according to state police.
The State Law Enforcement Division announced Friday that it had charged 42-year-old Shannon Smith with embezzlement of public funds, obtaining property under false pretenses, and counterfeiting certificate of title. According to SLED warrants, Smith forged the title of a pickup that the Howe Springs Fire Department owned to make it appear that the department had sold it to him. He then used the title in June of last year to get a $26,000 loan from a Florence credit union, the warrant states.
SLED agents also accuse Smith of embezzling more than $10,000 in funds from the department between 2007 and 2011. The agency says it conducted an investigation at the request of the Howe Springs Fire Department.
The department covers the rural communities which are located immediately south of Florence.