By Debra Minor Wilson
Times West Virginian
Former Grant Town mayor Robert Dale Riggs Jr., who pleaded guilty to three crimes against that community’s volunteer fire department, was sentenced to three to 30 years in the state penitentiary Monday.
Marion County Circuit Judge David R. Janes then reduced that sentence to three years’ probation, to begin immediately following the hearing, and 30 days at the North Central Regional Jail in Doddridge County to begin within the next 30 days.
Riggs was arrested in November 2011 by West Virginia State Police and charged with three counts of felony embezzlement, four counts of forgery and four counts of uttering.
According to a criminal complaint filed at Marion County Magistrate Court in November 2011, State Police received a complaint from John Riley, Grant Town fire chief, about four checks that were written using funds from the Grant Town Emergency Medical Service account. The EMS service is a subsidiary of the town’s volunteer fire department. In addition to being mayor, Riggs served as the president of the town’s VFD.
The checks bore the signature of Riggs and Candice Pope, VFD secretary/treasurer, the criminal complaint said. While each has the authority to issue checks on the account, Riggs told the State Police that he forged Pope’s signature without her knowledge.