Former firefighter accused of using sick time during prison sentence

By Jason Miles - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A former Shelby County firefighter is accused of cashing in sick time while serving time in federal prison.

Terry M. Vickers is no longer on the front lines saving lives as a firefighter and paramedic in Shelby County.  He's may now be fighting for his freedom after a federal indictment claims he defrauded the government.

The indictment states that Vickers reported to federal prison in Forrest City, Arkansas in June 2009 after pleading guilty to making false statements in an unrelated crime.

The feds say he then devised a scheme to keep his brief prison sentence a secret while maintaining his salary from the county.

"Terry Vickers would submit false and fraudulent documents to the Shelby County Fire Department to request sick leave," the indictment states.

The feds say Vickers claimed he was undergoing medical treatment and was not able to work when, in fact, he was serving a prison sentence.

We don't know at which fire station Vickers worked.  But plenty of taxpayers have opinions about what he's accused of doing.

"Our tax money needs to go as far as it can and the best possible use for it," said Laura Simons.  "And that doesn't sound like a good use of taxpayer money."

County officials have a policy of not discussing indictments until a defendant is actually arrested.

But a spokesman does confirm it was the county who contacted the federal government about Vickers and his alleged fraud.

The indictment also includes charges of theft from the Memphis Fire Department.  That's where Vickers worked before Shelby County.               

Vickers may now live in Mississippi.  Action News 5 was unable to reach him.

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