Police Charge Former Eighth Utilities District Fire Chief with Larceny

Former fire chief Paul Litrico lied about volunteer members of the department's eligibility for a $400 tax break, according to police.

Manchester Police have charged Paul Litrico, the former chief of the Eighth Utilities District Fire Department, with second-degree larceny and false entry by a public official after they say he submitted false information to the town to help members of his volunteer department qualify for tax abatements when they were otherwise not eligible.

Litrico's arrest stems from an investigation into missing documents used to calculate firefighters eligible for the tax abatement that Eighth Utilities District President Mary O'Marra reported to police in July. After conducting an investigation, police say they determined that Litrico submitted a letter certifying that 17 volunteer firefighters were eligible for the abatement, when only three actually appeared to be eligible for the tax break. 

Eighth Utilities District firefighters are a largely volunteer based unit of fire fighters that respond to calls in northern portion of Manchester and are also available for mutual aid calls in other parts of town. The volunteer firefighters are eligible to receive a tax break of up to $400 off their motor vehicle taxes each year, according to a town ordinance, but most response to at least 120 emergency calls, 25 of which have to be mutual aid calls.

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Litrico, 48 turned himself into police headquarters on Monday and was charged with second-degree larceny - defrauding a public community and false entry by a public official. He is due to appear in Manchester Superior Court on the charges Jan. 8, 2013. 

Litrico's arrest caps a tumultuous year for the former chief. In March, Litrico's son Joseph Litrico was arrested for buying heroin while on duty and in uniform at the Eighth District Firehouse on Main Street; Joseph Litrico, one of the few paid members of the department, later resigned. While in April, the police department announced that it was investigating allegations of fraud involving a $150 a ticket car raffle. That investigation is still ongoing and the police have not released any findings related to it. In July, the Board of Directors of the Manchester Eighth Utilities District voted 6-1 not to reappoint Paul Litrico as chief. 

Jonza Hasklown December 12, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Ms. Burke is this really about safety? You should be more concerned about the new Chief being trained as an entry level firefighter. You should also be concerned about his officers NOT being trained in emergency medical services as you are. 90% of their calls are medical yet Russo promotes a dispatcher to Deputy Chief with NO EMS certification. This department can not provide the level of service that the state certified them to. This is not about Chief Litrico`s commitment to safety.
Tony M December 12, 2012 at 01:27 AM
tina bourke: I'll bet you never made a mistake in you life! I only related my impression of Paul when he was a student of 13 an 14 years of age. Nothing more.
tina bourke December 12, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Janza, yes safety is one aspect of it for me. This would be the department that responds to our emergencies. I live in the 8th district!! Besides I'm not sure if you or Tony grasped my point which was actually one of hope.....
Cathy Topping December 12, 2012 at 04:32 AM
PK: I'm sorry you do not seem to have the necessary facts for an accurate statement. First, you have difficulty with simple terminology: OAED defines a FLEET as: a large group of ships, airplanes, trucks, etc., operated by a single company or under the same ownership: Mr. Topping owns two trucks; hardly a fleet by definition. Regarding his "disability", which you obviously know nothing of, "Serve and Protect" is and has been the motto of the Hartford Police Department. Mr. Topping was injured in the line of duty on more than one occasion, which forced his retirement from active duty. There are no stipulations on work he chooses. This is evidenced by Mr. Topping volunteering this information publicly. Mr. Topping is attempting to live the American Dream which is noble as well as hedonistic. Regarding the Christmas Tree fund. (notice the correct spelling of "Christmas"?)As you so eloquently indicate by using the word, "got", (I'm sorry, your grammar and word usage is a bit difficult to decipher) Mr. Topping, some 25 years ago, did place money for trees in his coat in the flurry of activity of sales. However, ironically, the money was never "short" that evening, nor that year, and because of Mr. Topping's honesty, the money was returned upon locating it the following year. As far as I am concerned, Mr. Topping, my brother, holds more character in his "glass house"doorknob than anyone I know arrested on a felony or having the moral character to use his/her own true identity.
David Moran December 12, 2012 at 06:27 AM
Comments have been closed on this article, because there have been numerous violations of Patch's Terms of Use policy: http://manchester.patch.com/terms. This is a forum for public discussion, but it is not one to hurl baseless accusations, spread rumors or mount character attacks.


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