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Posted on Tue, Mar 30, 2010 : 12:50 p.m.

Scio Township firefighter pleads no contest to embezzling funds from Ann Arbor Moose Lodge

By Amalie Nash

A Scio Township firefighter who pleaded no contest to embezzling funds from the Ann Arbor Moose Lodge and then withdrew his plea has again reached an agreement with prosecutors.

Christopher Steeb pleaded no contest Friday to a felony charge of embezzling $50,000 to $100,000 from the organization. A charge of embezzling more than $100,000 is expected to be dismissed at sentencing May 26.


Christopher Steeb

Steeb, a lieutenant with the Scio Township Fire Department and a former administrator with the Moose Lodge, was accused of stealing more than $150,000 from the organization while serving in a position of authority over a two-year period.

Charges were levied in 2007, but the case dates back to 2005.

Steeb remains on active paid on-call duty at the Scio Township Fire Department. Chief Carl Ferch pointed out Steeb has not yet been sentenced and said his standing in the department could change at that point.

But Ferch also said Steeb's criminal case has not affected his work at the department.

"His personal life does not affect us," Ferch said today. "It has nothing to do with us."

Mark Hugger, Steeb's attorney, said in a written statement today that Steeb intends to pay what he owes and fulfill his obligations to the court.

"Chris has been a firefighter all his adult life," Hugger said in the statement. "It is what he loves; it is how he serves the community; it is what he was born to do.It would be a true loss to the community if he is unable to continue what has been an honorable and distinguished career in public service."

Chief Deputy Assistant Prosecutor Steven Hiller said Steeb could again petition to withdraw the plea before sentencing, but the judge is not obligated to allow him to do so.

The plea Steeb withdrew in September is identical to the one he entered Friday to avoid trial on the charges. A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but is treated as one for sentencing purposes.


not a billy

Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 9:32 p.m.

Maybe the Township Board will back him again. It is obvious that his self-confessed gambling problem (see previous stories) has not improved. He's still betting that the Chief will keep him. Maybe he will win enough money on that to pay back the Moose Lodge. Oh, wait, who would bet against him? Only those who don't know the chief.


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 12:01 p.m.

It would be a true loss to the community if he is unable to continue what has been an honorable and distinguished career in public service." Hahahaha. Gotta love the lawyer spin.


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 11:35 a.m.

Chief Perch basicly what your saying is it doesn't matter what I do off the job as long as I do a good job at work. So I can be a rapist, murderer, child molester as long as I do my job right none of my off duty activities matter that's what your saying. It's no wonder people are doing what they're doing because of people like you. It's a disgrace and it shouldn't be overlooked. Maybe they should take you out of the fire department if you think this if ok.


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 10:42 a.m.

Are you kidding me??? As long as I do a good job at my regular job it doesn't matter what I do outside of that. He stole over $100,000 dollars from another organization that trusted him. Oh my God what a disgrace. Chief Ferch please don't let him take care of Scio's books, we can't pay for our fire department now. My taxes go up every year just for the fire department. Make him be accountable. You guys are nuts if you keep a thief on the fire department.


Wed, Mar 31, 2010 : 7:15 a.m.

This guy is a crook. He stole thousands of dollars and his attorney wants the public to believe he has led an honorable and distinguished career. Shame on the chief for defending this guy..."His personal life does not affect has nothing to do with us". What an ignorant statement.


Tue, Mar 30, 2010 : 11:45 p.m.

Fire his sorry butt and the chief too for making stupid public statements. That a person like this should be on "paid" leave is a true waste of public funds. That's the union at "work". Protecting criminal employees and then trying to sell it as a matter of public safety. Is the chief the union leader? The courts need to start making "examples" of these low lifer "public" servants who abuse their authority and positions. Talk about an "axis of evil". And don't pull that "don't let one rotten apple" or "isolated case" stuff. The corruption is rampant.


Tue, Mar 30, 2010 : 10:15 p.m.

"[A]n honorable and distinguished career in public service." Riiiiiiiiight..........


Tue, Mar 30, 2010 : 9:56 p.m.

I hope he is sentenced properly, and not with a slap on the hiney, or worse, a pat on the back. We need to disband the good old boy systems in this corrupt ridden state.

Tom Joad

Tue, Mar 30, 2010 : 9:40 p.m.

The chief sounds like a fool.


Tue, Mar 30, 2010 : 8:09 p.m.

The Chief needs to go too. Anyone who defends a person who has essentially engaged in theft, has no business being involved in a Government job, leave alone a job in the area of Public Safety> Shame on you, Chief.


Tue, Mar 30, 2010 : 2:19 p.m.

I gotta' agree with the Bull Dog on this one. Every cop and firefighter knows (going into the job) that the citizenry must have 100% trust in their honesty and their judgement. That is why cops and firefighters are "held to a higher standard" than the general public. It would be quite foolish to say that the off-duty actions of cops and firefighter does not effect their jobs. The trust has been broken - so this guy has to go. Shame on you Chief! You can only defend your guys so far.