published Friday, August 8th, 2014

Police briefs: Lieutenant investigated for meal scam to retire

Lieutenant investigated for meal scam to retire

Hamilton County Lt. Rick Hamrick will retire Sept. 1, according to the sheriff's department. Hamrick was suspended with pay on June 10 while the department investigated allegations that he purchased unauthorized meals for himself and others using taxpayer money.

Under his watch, jurors and officers spent $13,000 on meals during nine jury trials in Hamilton County Criminal Court this year.

The results of the internal affairs investigation into the allegations will be released when the investigation concludes.


House fire displaces five people

4207 10th Avenue
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Three adults and two children are homeless after a fire swept through an East Lake home Wednesday night, Chattanooga Fire Department spokesman Bruce Garner said.

The fire started just before 8 p.m. Wednesday at 4207 10th Ave., and the fire department responded with four companies. The house was cluttered and had several roof additions, which made it difficult for firefighters to find and extinguish the fire, Garner said.

Still, the blaze was under control within 30 minutes, and no one was injured. Most damage was contained to the kitchen and garage.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Volunteers with the American Red Cross were called in to help the family.


Maryville man pleads guilty in adoption forgery scheme

A 49-year-old Maryville, Tenn., man pleaded guilty to two counts of forgery Wednesday in U.S. District Court after authorities discovered he scammed a couple out of $400,000 as they tried to adopt the foster children in their care.

Kevin Scott Thibault posed as an attorney and agreed to help two people adopt the children they were caring for in May 2012, according to the plea agreement. He create fake adoption papers and forged the signatures of two federal judges on the forms.

In October 2012, Thibault demanded the foster parents give him power of attorney, and said it was to represent their interests during the adoption procedures. But in fact, he conducted financial transactions on their behalf and obtained at least $400,000 from the victims, according to the plea agreement.

The forgery charges were brought after an investigation by the Blount County Sheriff's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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