The former Niantic fire chief turned himself in to East Lyme police Wednesday, nearly three months after he resigned amid allegations he misused town funds by collecting money for shifts he did not work.
Stephen M. Wargo, 47, of 59 East Pattagansett Road, Niantic, was charged Wednesday with first-degree larceny. He was processed and released on a $1,000 nonsurety bond and is due March 23 in New London Superior Court.
The severity of his charge is based on the fact that he is accused of stealing from a municipality.
East Lyme police said Wednesday they issued a warrant for Wargo's arrest after concluding a nearly three-month investigation. The allegations came to light in December after discrepancies of timecards and submitted payroll requests had been discovered by volunteer members of the department. Niantic uses a mix of paid staff and volunteers.
Wargo, who was a volunteer chief and a paid part-time firefighter at the Niantic department, submitted his resignation as chief for what he called "personal reasons" in December. He is also a lieutenant in the New London Fire Department. Pursuant to a city personnel policy, he is suspended pending disposition of the criminal case.