Manchester Police have charged Paul Litrico, the former chief of the Eighth Utilities District Fire Department, with second-degree larceny and false entry by a public official after they say he submitted false information to the town to help members of his volunteer department qualify for tax abatements when they were otherwise not eligible.
Litrico's arrest stems from an investigation into missing documents used to calculate firefighters eligible for the tax abatement that Eighth Utilities District President Mary O'Marra reported to police in July. After conducting an investigation, police say they determined that Litrico submitted a letter certifying that 17 volunteer firefighters were eligible for the abatement, when only three actually appeared to be eligible for the tax break.
Eighth Utilities District firefighters are a largely volunteer based unit of fire fighters that respond to calls in northern portion of Manchester and are also available for mutual aid calls in other parts of town. The volunteer firefighters are eligible to receive a tax break of up to $400 off their motor vehicle taxes each year, according to a town ordinance, but most response to at least 120 emergency calls, 25 of which have to be mutual aid calls.
Litrico, 48 turned himself into police headquarters on Monday and was charged with second-degree larceny - defrauding a public community and false entry by a public official. He is due to appear in Manchester Superior Court on the charges Jan. 8, 2013.
Litrico's arrest caps a tumultuous year for the former chief. In March, Litrico's son Joseph Litrico was arrested for buying heroin while on duty and in uniform at the Eighth District Firehouse on Main Street; Joseph Litrico, one of the few paid members of the department, later resigned. While in April, the police department announced that it was investigating allegations of fraud involving a $150 a ticket car raffle. That investigation is still ongoing and the police have not released any findings related to it. In July, the Board of Directors of the Manchester Eighth Utilities District voted 6-1 not to reappoint Paul Litrico as chief.