Former Mineral Fire Volunteer Charged for Thefts From District

By Natalie Johnson / njohnson@chronline.com

Nearly a year after pleading guilty to stealing money from Mineral’s Lewis County Fire District 9 in Pierce County Superior Court, a former district volunteer is now facing another felony theft charge in Lewis County.

Brady J. Mounce, 25, of Mineral, made his first appearance out of custody Wednesday in Lewis County Superior Court on one count of second-degree theft.

Specifically, charging documents outline allegations that Mounce between 2013 and 2016 spent $1,500 of the fire district’s money on gasoline for his personal use.

He was granted $10,000 unsecured bail. His next court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 11.

Mounce was charged in May 2016 with second-degree theft in Pierce County in the case after being accused of using district gas cards over the Pierce County line. He pleaded guilty in February to two counts of third-degree theft and was sentenced to 364 days with 334 days suspended on one count, and 364 days with 364 days suspended on the second, according to court documents. He was allowed to serve the remaining 30 days on electronic home monitoring.

Mounce’s father was the fire district’s chief at the time of the thefts, according to court documents.

The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office became involved in the case last June after receiving a report from the state Auditor’s Office, which had recently completed an investigation into the district’s financials, in light of the criminal charges against Mounce.

The Auditor’s Office found $5,000 in fuel “misappropriated” by Mounce, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.

According to court documents, Mounce allegedly made 75 purchases with the gas card for personal use, 20 of which were in Morton. Those 20 purchases in Lewis County amounted to $1,503.12.

When asked by detectives about the purchases in Morton, Mounce reportedly responded, “My statement is I didn’t do anything in Morton,” according to court documents.

Overall, the audit showed $20,300 in the district’s fuel money was misappropriated, but auditors were not able to determine who was responsible for the remaining thefts, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.