Former Bryson City fire chief, wife charged with embezzlement

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BRYSON CITY, N.C. (AP) — The former Bryson City fire chief and his wife have been indicted on embezzlement charges.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports state Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin announced the charges on Wednesday.

Joseph Winford Hughes, 44, is charged with embezzlement, making false statements, forgery, and conspiracy.

Cylena Taylor Hughes, 44, is charged with larceny, forgery, embezzlement and conspiracy.

Investigators said the money was taken from the Bryson City Fire Department Local Firemen’s Relief Fund and the East Swain Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization.

Police began investigating in September after discrepancies were found in fire department finances. The fire station was temporarily shut down, and officials conducted an audit of the department’s assets. Hughes was relieved of duty Sept. 23.

It was not clear if the couple has attorneys.
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This article was provided by The Associated Press.  (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)