NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ A trial is beginning Thursday in U.S. district court in New Haven for a former Middlebury fire chief charged with embezzling more than $70,000 from the department.

Paul Perrotti is accused of using department operating accounts to pay for personal expenses and for expenses associated with his private electrical contracting business. Prosecutors say Perrotti also submitted invoices to the town for expenses incurred by his business and used a fire department debit card to make purchases for business-related items.

Perrotti has maintained he is innocent.

FBI agents raided the firehouse in May 2014 and seized computers and financial documents.
Perrotti had been chief of the volunteer department beginning in 1997.

(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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