BLUFFDALE, Utah (ABC4) – The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office has filed charges of misuse of public money and falsification of government records against former Bluffdale Fire Chief John Roberts.

The charges come as a result of his alleged role in paying Bluffdale firefighters for days that they had not worked, and for falsifying officials payroll and work logs.

According to a press release from the District Attorney’s Office, Roberts allegedly knowingly paid firefighters a total of $86,000 for hours they did not work, and knowingly made false entries in payroll and work logs reflecting the purported shifts they did not work.

The statement of probable cause indicates that the city of Bluffdale requested that documents related to the payroll of Bluffdale Fire Dept. employees, ranging from December 22, 2018 to August 17, 2019, be investigated by the DA’s Office.

Officials reviewed “hundreds of daily reports which had been approved and signed by John Calvin Roberts in his position as the chief of the Bluffdale Fire Department,” according to the probable cause statement.

Several hundred of these reports allegedly had handwritten modifications made to them.

“EMS logs, Fire logs, and shift requests for the affected employees, and such comparison showed inconsistencies with the hours and dates manually edited on the daily reports,” officials say.

Roberts now faces the following charges:

  • One Count, Misusing Public Money (Second-Degree Felony)
  • Five Counts, Falsification or Alteration of Government Record (Class-B Misdemeanor)

Misuse of Public Monies, a Second Degree Felony, carries a maximum possible punishment of up to fifteen years in prison; each count of Falsification of a Government Record, a Class B Misdemeanor, carries a maximum possible punishment of up to six months in jail.