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Barnegat Firefighters’ Relief Fund Treasurer Charged with Theft

The man entrusted to maintain the finances of the Barnegat Fireman’s Relief Association is now charged with siponing more than $100,000 from its bank account over the past 15 months.

James Docherty
James Docherty (Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office)

James Docherty, 41, of Barnegat, was charged with theft and possession of a controlled dangerous substance Monday by Ocean County investigators, according to information from the office of County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato.

Docherty is suspected of withdrawing $103,615.56 from the Wells Fargo branch that carries the Association’s account, in 45 transactions from January 2013 until this month.

Investigators were notified after an annual audit involving BRFA President George Heflich, Sr., and New Jeresy State Fireman’s Association Frank B. Gunson. They found discrepancies between bank records and Docherty’s year-end report, authorities said.

At the time of arrest, Docherty also was in possession of Oxycontin and Oxycodone, authorities said. Docherty was placed in the Ocean County Jail in Toms River, with bail set at $25,000. He was given no option to be released on payment of 10 percent.

Sources close to the investigation tell us that Docherty is a former Barnegat firefighter and a relative of township Fire Chief Scott Docherty.

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