Paul Barth receives prison time for thefts


by WHAS11 editors

Posted on June 21, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 21 at 6:12 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- There will be prison time for the former McMahan Fire Chief, who pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon to embezzling and laundering money meant for the WHAS Crusade for Children.

Barth is also accused of stealing from the department.
Since he will be serving time in federal prison, it means no parole.

Click here to read the news release from the Department of Justice.

Barth walked silently with his attorney after admitting in court to 15 felony counts.


Barth was the very face of the Crusade for years, as the small McMahan department regularly was one of the top fundraisers for the charity that helps children with special needs.


The former chief also served as Chairman of the WHAS Crusade Board for two years.


Investigators had learned Barth pocketed donations intended for that charity, as well as overpaid himself while fire chief.


He also used a fire department-issued credit card to pay for things like taxes on his seven Corvettes and fancy vacations.


On Thursday, he agreed to serve 41 months in prison and was ordered to pay the Crusade and the McMahan Fire Department back nearly $200,000 before his sentencing date in October.


“He's gonna make every reasonable effort he can to come up with the money, but at this point, that result is uncertain,” Barth’s attorney Thomas Clay said.


Barth has listed his 5,300 square foot home on the Oxmoor Country Club Golf Course for sale.


The asking price is $598,900.


We've learned from the Jefferson County Clerk's office that Barth has sold five of his seven Corvettes.


Records show he still owns Frolio's Pizza Parlor on Poplar Level Road and that Florida condo.


“I hope people can remember the good as well as what happened here today,” Clay, who indicated Barth may speak to the news media and the judge at his sentencing hearing, said.


We contacted the WHAS Crusade for Children for comment.


The organization said in a statement, “Firefighters are the lifeblood of the WHAS Crusade for Children. We thank all firefighters and Crusade supporters.”


Mike Harlamert, who is president of the McMahan Fire Board said, “We’re glad to have this all behind us, so we can focus 100 percent on our primary mission, which is to provide outstanding service to the Hike’s Point and McMahan community.”