A Corbin firefighter formally denied accusations Tuesday that he stole city property and sold it for his own gain.
Eric B. Isom, 30, appeared in Whitley District Court in Corbin Tuesday morning to answer to two charges of misdemeanor theft. He pleaded not guilty and Whitley District Judge Cathy Prewitt set a pre-trial conference in the case for Dec. 14 at 1:00 p.m.
Following the hearing, Isom refuse to comment on the case and directed all questions to his attorney.
Isom was arrested in early October for allegedly taking two emergency light bars – seized by the city’s police department as part of a criminal investigation in May – and selling them for $125 apiece. He sold one to fellow firefighter Chad Jackson and another to Brandon Wagers in July.
Corbin Police Chief David Campbell said the light bars could not be used by his department, so were given to the city’s Fire Department for its use. He added that police were contacted on Sept. 13 by member of the Corbin Fire Department who told them the light bars had been illegally taken and sold.
Corbin Police Det. Bill Rose investigated the case and made the arrest.
In a civil lawsuit against the city, filed only a week after his arrest, Isom tells a different story. He claims he was given the lights, which were broken, to do with as he pleased. He fixed them and then sold them. He said the lights were later used as an excuse to arrest him, and ultimately get him fired from the Fire Department, as retaliation for his disciplining of two firefighters under his command. The firefighters, the lawsuit says, are also members of the West Knox Volunteer Fire Department and were favored by Corbin Fire Chief Barry McDonald, a former fire chief at West Knox.
Isom still works for the city and Cannon said no moves would be made to discipline him until his criminal case is complete.
Isom has served as a firefighter since Oct. 21, 2002.