Former Eau Claire firefighter charged with stealing $18K from union reaches plea deal

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Eau Claire County (WQOW) – A former Eau Claire firefighter charged with stealing more than $18,000 from the firefighters labor union has agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors.

Wednesday in Eau Claire County Court, William Drath pleaded guilty to two counts of theft from a business setting. A third count was dismissed.

According to the criminal complaint, police were tipped off in September of 2017 of possible embezzlement.

Drath was the union treasurer from 2006 to 2016.

The new treasurer reported the case to police after he found some irregularities in the paperwork.

After digging through 2,600 pages of records, police found fraudulent transactions adding up to more than $18,000 over a course of six years.

The new treasurer told police Drath attempted to give him a check for $10,000 in November 2017, but he declined it because the investigation was already underway.

Drath’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for November. Based on the charges, he faces a maximum penalty of 12 years in prison.

Stephen Kelley

Stephen Kelley

Stephen Kelley joined the News 18 team in August 2006. He is currently the Executive Producer and an Evening Anchor.

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