BELFAST — Andrew Webster, 52, pleaded not guilty to two counts of theft by receiving stolen property during a Nov. 18 arraignment in Belfast.

The former Searsport fire chief is accused of accepting stolen Barney Hose Company property. His partner, 43-year-old Gina Philbrick, Barney Hose Company’s former treasurer, is accused of writing checks from the organization’s checkbook that she deposited into her USAA bank account, according to a police affidavit. Searsport Police Department’s investigation found she allegedly stole at least $11,600.

Philbrick pleaded not guilty to a theft by deception charge during her Oct. 7 arraignment in Belfast. She told The Republican Journal July 1 that she “accidentally wrote the checks.” She was handling several checkbooks at the time and did not realize she was depositing company funds into her own account until it was audited. She said Webster “had no knowledge of this.”

She also told investigators she accidentally wrote the checks, according to the police affidavit. She also told them during an interview that she tried to disguise her identity by scribbling her signature, according to that document.

Webster stepped down as fire chief in early July after being suspended in June. He told The Republican Journal in June that the investigation had nothing to do with him and he expected to be reinstated as  fire chief.

The Barney Hose Company raises funds to help financially support the fire department and its members, according to Searsport Town Manager James Gillway.

Webster will be in court again for a dispositional hearing Jan. 24, 2023.

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