GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – Investigators say during the Lower North Fork Fire one of the men on the lines was not a real firefighter. He’s also accused of impersonating a firefighter during the High Park Fire.
Michael Maher was in court in Jefferson County on Monday. His hearing was only about 5 minutes, but he plans to fight the charges. He pleaded not guilty to theft, criminal impersonation, and impersonating a public official.
Maher said nothing as he walked into the courtroom. The charges he faces stem from the Lower North Fork Fire. That March blaze killed three people and destroyed 23 homes.
The Jefferson County sheriff indicated Maher was being investigated for posing as a firefighter and taking equipment that was later reported missing. He is out on bond and is due back in court in February.
During Larimer County’s High Park Fire in June Maher is accused of having a vehicle with government plates, firefighting equipment, and was reported to be involved on the fire. He was arrested after some National Guardsmen became suspicious. Maher will be in a Larimer County courtroom in April to fight those charges.