HAMLET – David Allen Knight of Whistle Road in Hamlet was arrested on Monday, November 6, as he was charged with two counts of embezzlement from Hamlet Rescue and Medical Services totaling over $20,000.
After a 20-month investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, it was determined that Knight was in fact involved in an embezzlement scheme. Knight is the former fire chief for the town of Hamlet who retired from the field in 2015. He served the town for 35 years starting in 1981 after graduating high school. He became the chief of the fire station just six years later.
According to current Fire Chief Calvin White, there were some questions regarding the finances from Knight’s time as fire chief. Apparently, Knight made purchases between the dates of April 2014 and January 2016 that didn’t seem to add up.
Since the arrest, Knight has made bail. According to the SBI, the prosecution is being handled by the district attorney’s office along with Financial Crimes resources prosecutors.
Hamlet City Manger Jonathan Blanton released the following official statement on behalf of the City:
“The City of Hamlet is disappointed in the circumstances surrounding former Fire Chief David Knight and his alleged involvement with the mishandling of funds from Hamlet Rescue and Emergency Medical Services. The City was first made aware of the situation shortly after the retirement of Mr. Knight in March of 2016. At that time, questions surrounding Mr. Knight’s handling of the finances of Hamlet Rescue and Emergency Medical Services were raised and reported to local law enforcement. Shortly thereafter, all information was turned over to the State Bureau of Investigations who completed a thorough and in-depth investigation of the situation.
“The Hamlet Rescue and Emergency Medical Services is a separate, nonprofit corporation of which Mr. Knight was the president of and there are no allegations that any City funds were mishandled by Mr. Knight during his tenure as Fire Chief, nor is the City a part of this legal action. Although the City is disheartened at the possibility of past financial mismanagement, the City is confident that necessary changes and safeguards have been put into place that will allow for a mutually beneficially relationship to continue between the City and Hamlet Rescue and Emergency Medical Services as we strive to deliver the best possible services and protection to our citizens.”
The Richmond Observer will continue to seek information regarding this situation and report on it as more information becomes available.