Former Gananoque, TLTI fire chief facing fraud charges

LANSDOWNE – The former fire chief of Gananoque and the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands (TLTI) is facing 25 charges after an O.P.P. investigation.

Gerald “Gerry” Bennett, 60, is charged with 15 counts of fraud, six counts of uttering a forged document, three counts of theft and one count of breach of trust.

The charges were laid after a two year investigation “into irregularities” within the books of the Town of Gananoque and TLTI as well as the Gananoque Firefighters Association.

Bennett’s lawyer, Josh Clarke, told the Recorder and Times his client intends to plead not guilty.

In a statement, TLTI Mayor Corinna Smith-Gatcke said “this was a difficult situation that our staff and fire service personnel persevered through” but she did not comment further on the charges.

In November 2016, Bennett was “released from his employment” after he had been on a paid leave of absence after TLTI terminated its shared service agreement with the Town of Gananoque.

Bennett will appear in court Jan. 4 in Brockville.

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