TUNKHANNOCK — The former treasurer of a fire department in Wyoming County will spend up to four years behind bars for stealing thousands from the fire company.
Robin Gorton-Parrish from Luzerne was sentenced Wednesday morning to between 10 and 48 months. She also has to pay back the money.
“I’m very happy that she’s in jail. I’m very happy that she’s been found guilty and that she is going to have to pay it back. I’m happy that this is over for the fire company because it’s been hard,” said Cathie Pauley, a Noxen resident.
Pauley has donated to the Noxen Fire Department for years.
She said what Parrish did affected the entire community.
“Why did she think she was going to get away with it? How could she think she was going to get away with it? I don’t know,” said Pauley.
Parrish volunteered at the Noxen Fire Department for seven years. She spent two and a half of those years as treasurer. During that time, department officials said she took $34,000 from fundraising money. After her sentencing, the fire chief said he’s just happy it’s over.
“I guess justice was served. Our department is happy to get it behind us,” said Lew Hackling, Noxen Volunteer Fire Chief.
The fire chief and other volunteers said they caught Parrish take the money over a six-week period. Some of the money came from their biggest fundraiser: The Annual Noxen Rattlesnake Round-up.
They said their system of checks and balances caught the theft fast.
“I’m glad that it was caught when it did because it would have been drastic,” said Alaisha Sherwood, a Noxen Volunteer Firefighter.
The fire chief said seeing Parrish in court was surreal, but Hackling said the important thing is serving the people of Noxen.
“Everybody is still surprised, dismayed, betrayed, but life goes on and we keep protecting the community we serve,” said Hackling.
The fire chief said the department has received most of the $34,000 back in insurance money. He was happy to say the department is back on their feet and looking forward to their Rattlesnake fundraiser in June.