Crown King Fire Chief arrested for theft, fraud

CROWN KING – Fire Chief of Crown King Fire District (CKFD), 50-year-old Mark Dillon who was chief from August 2016 to June of 2017, was arrested on charges of theft, and fraudulent use of a credit card. Forgery allegations are still under investigation.

Dillon was arrested at his residence in Coolidge based on arrest and search warrants with assistance from the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office. He remains in the Pinal County Jail on a $25,000 bond.

During the time Dillon was employed as Crown King Fire Chief, he had access to a credit card for incidental department only related expenses. Yavapai Sheriff detectives, which began an investigation in May of this year, discovered he used the card multiple times without authorization for the purchase of personal goods and services over a period of five months.

The theft exceeds $4,000 from the CKFD. Detectives also located an employment application forged with the signature of a fire district employee and possibly used by Dillon while applying for new employment with another agency. Also, Dillon may have removed his personnel file from district offices without authorization.

The suspicious charges on the credit card include $1,950 in personal, legal fees for criminal charges from an off-duty altercation not connected in any way to work. As well as purchases for bulk propane deliveries to his personal residence, jewelry, fashion sunglasses, clothing, movie tickets, restaurant tabs, vehicle parts for his personal vehicle, children’s toys and groceries including, alcoholic beverages.

Detectives were initially notified of theft by CKFD personnel after Dillon’s sudden departure in June of 2017. Several attempts by CKFD staff to contact Dillon regarding these spending issues after he resigned were not answered in any meaningful way, according to YCSO.

The CKFD is a legal taxing authority established as a “Special District” within Yavapai County. Taxing authority comes from the Arizona Department of Revenue after the Board of Supervisors approves formation of the district.

Once established, the elected fire district board is the only and final supervising authority for the fire district, and there is no direct oversight above them other than the taxpayers and voters in the district.

Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260

or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov.