Accused former firefighter enters guilty plea

Former BX-Swan Lake volunteer firefighter pleads guilty to a charge of theft by a person required to account in provincial court Thursday...

A former member of the BX-Swan Lake volunteer fire department facing charges of fraud and theft has entered a guilty plea.

Layne Richard Benner, 39, pleaded guilty in Vernon Provincial Court Thursday to one count of theft by a person required to account.

“He will be making restitution in full prior to the date of sentencing, and offering a full apology to the BX Swan Lake Fire Department,” said Benner’s lawyer, Richard Hewson.

A date for Benner’s sentencing will be fixed in court Wednesday.

Benner was originally charged with counts of fraud and theft over $5,000.

No decision has been made on the fraud count.

An 18-month investigation into financial improprieties at the BX-Swan Lake volunteer fire hall resulted in charges being laid in August.

Police began looking into matters in January of 2011 after questions from the fire department arose over its account.

Charges were forwarded to Crown for approval in May.

Police said in August the money in question belongs to the volunteer firemen.