Audit questions lead to fire chief suspension

Published 1:42 am Sunday, October 25, 2009

Gautier Fire Chief Michael Gray has been suspended with pay after an insurance audit allegedly found he’d listed his ex-wife as a dependent, costing the city nearly $140,000.

Gray attorney Keith Miller denied the allegation and said he’d seek a civil service investigation if the city fired Gray. City Manager Sidney Runnels sent Gray a letter this month saying the city intended to end Gray’s employment.

According to city records, an insurance audit of employee dependents found Gray listed his ex-wife as a dependent from 2003 to 2009. The termination letter says the city paid more than $26,000 in medical insurance premiums and over $112,000 in treatment costs for Ava Gray.

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Court records show the couple divorced in 1998 but remarried in September 2009.