Firefighters’ union official gets probation for taking funds

A former firefighter who stole more than $75,000 while serving as a union official has been spared a prison term.

Atlantic County prosecutors say Michael Palmer instead received a year of probation. The 36-year-old Somers Point man also must pay full restitution to Local 41 of the New Jersey Fireman’s Mutual Benevolent Association and forfeited his job as a lieutenant in the Margate Fire Department.

Prosecutors say Palmer was the union’s secretary-treasurer when the thefts occurred between 2011 and 2014. They say he made “personal use of the money” but have not disclosed further details.

Palmer pleaded guilty last month to charges of official misconduct and theft. He had been suspended from his firefighting job in July 2104 after prosecutors were notified about irregularities in the union’s bank accounts.

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