NEWS

Stiff sentence sought in Vancouver firefighters band fraud

03/24/2012 06:20 EDT | Updated 05/24/2012 05:12 EDT

The director of the Vancouver Firefighters Band Society says the court should make an example of the man who defrauded the organization.

Jason William Davidson pleaded guilty in Vancouver Friday to stealing more than $100,000 while acting as the society's treasurer.

The Crown is asking for a one-year conditional sentence, while the defence is asking for a conditional discharge.

"They're supposed to be honest people and here he is milking the band fund," said David Waterhouse, who speaks for the band society.

"Shouldn't the public be saying, 'Well let's make an example of him and let's show the public that they can't do that thing when they're in a position of trust.' "

Davidson used the band society's funds as a personal bank account, stealing or borrowing more than $100,000 over the five years he served as treasurer. He bought a garden shed, an engagement ring, a domain name for his wife's business and lent himself $10,000 to put a down payment on a house he later sold for a $96,000-profit.

Vancouver Fire Chief John McKearney gave the court a character reference as did the chief in Yellowknife, where Davidson landed as deputy after resigning from his job in Vancouver.

Waterhouse says the only voice that doesn't seem to count is the victim's.

"On the band, it's been very devastating," he said. "It shook one of my pillars — [that is] the honesty and integrity of people who serve in the community."

Davidson is scheduled to be sentenced on April 3.

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