Princeton fire chief accused of stealing narcotics
WORCESTER, Mass. (WHDH) -- A Princeton fire chief was charged after he allegedly stole narcotics from the fire department’s ambulance.
David Cobb, the town’s first full-time fire chief and the department’s only full-time employee, was arraigned Monday and released on personal recognizance.
“I think everyone who knew him was very shocked about it. It was out of character for Dave and I think that’s what really surprised people,” said Fire Chief Jack Chandler of the Holden Fire Department.
Cobb was relieved of his duties in July after an audit showed he had been going to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Worcester and another hospital in Gardner to get the drugs.
Cobb was sworn in as chief in January, but then seemed to just disappear.
“All of the sudden he just stopped coming in…I was just like, ‘Where did he go?’” said Sarah Clemence, who works in Princeton.
Cobb lives in Holden, down a long dirt road that was chained off. 7News was unable to ask him about the police report accusing him of replenishing excessive amounts of narcotics, including valium, fentanyl and morphine.
The Princeton Town Administrator, John Lebeaux, released a statement saying: “I am reviewing with town counsel and the Board of Selectmen what our next steps will be. An item listed on the agenda is personnel regarding the Fire Chief’s status.”
“We have somebody else filling in for [Cobb] and I guess they’re doing well. We’ll all grind through the system, come out the other end at some point,” said Lou Trostel, a Princeton resident.
Cobb is on paid administrative leave. That could change depending on what the board decides to do.
Cobb is expected to return to court in December.