Lavonia VFD Assistant Chief charged with felony theft

Shane Bentley, 41, of Lavonia, is under arrest for four counts of felony theft by taking.


Bentley turned himself in to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office without incident yesterday, June 1, according to a statement by Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Jesse Maddox.


The arrest was the result of an investigation concerning unauthorized purchases made with Lavonia city funds. Bentley, who served as the assistant chief of the Lavonia Volunteer Fire Department, purchased several equipment items that were not for the use of the Volunteer Fire Department.

The Lavonia Police Department requested the Athens GBI office to investigate this matter after city officials discovered unusually high expenditures by the Lavonia Volunteer Fire Department. Those expenditures took place over the course of several months. Several of those purchases were unaccounted for and not made specifically for the fire department.


The Lavonia Fire Department is an ISO class 4 department with one station staffed with 100% volunteers. The command staff is comprised of a chief, an assistant chief, two captains, two lieutenants, a Chaplin and 25 firefighters.

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