Rancho Adobe Fire Captain suspected of embezzling $63,000

A Rancho Adobe Fire Captain was accused of embezzling more than $63,000 from the fire protection district's union.

Michael Bechtold, 39, was arrested early Wednesday on suspicion of forging and cashing checks as treasurer of the Rancho Adobe Protection District's union account, Sonoma County sheriff's officials said.

The Rohnert Park resident allegedly used the funds to pay for housing, season tickets to Sharks hockey games and a trip to Disneyland.

Bechtold serves as the department's fire marshal and has worked for the Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District for at least 15 years, Fire Chief Frank Treanor said.

"I'm saddened," said Treanor, reached by phone Thursday. "You work with these people and you see the great work that they do."

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