GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – Volunteer firefighters watched as their former chief was sentenced to prison time on Friday.

David MacBean stole more than $500,000 from the Inter-Canyon Fire Protection District to spend on tools, musical instruments, even weapons.

David MacBean (credit: Jeffco DA)

David MacBean (credit: Jeffco DA)

In court MacBean apologized, asking for probation so he could work to repay the district, but the judge didn’t buy it and sent him to prison.

“He betrayed my trust as a friend and as a colleague and as a chief of this department,” Inter-Canyon Fire Protection District Chief David Simpson said. “I think the evidence speaks for itself.”

Betrayal, disappointment and disgust — that’s how many members of the Inter-Canyon Protection District describe what their former chief did to them and their community.

“We’re very embarrassed about it,” fire medic Bill Lucatuorto said.

Over the course of 3 years MacBean stole more than $647,000 from the fire district. Prosecutors say much of that money was spent on tools and music instruments, and even several dozen guns and ammunition.

MacBean said he suffers from an addiction, but added that it’s not an excuse.

Now the volunteer fire district is trying to repair its damaged reputation and finances.

“We changed the way we do business. All the way from the top, all the way to the bottom; how our money is handled, how the finances are accounted for,” Simpson said.

When the 8-year prison sentence was given to MacBean, the new chief says justice was served.

“Today, coming out of this courtroom right now is the door opening to the beginning of the healing and repairing what’s been damaged,” Simpson said. “I think we’re well on our way to that.”

Simpson said none of the money taken by MacBean affected the district’s ability to fight fire. Rather, it impacted their budget to upgrade equipment and training.

MacBean has also been ordered to pay back the money.

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