New Jersey Firefighter Accused of Stealing From Fund for Widows, Orphans

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    A 25-year veteran firefighter in New Jersey is accused of stealing more than $400,000 from a fund meant to help widows and orphans that he controlled as treasurer.

    Fredrick J. Donatelli Jr., 46, is accused of theft, money laundering and misapplication of entrusted funds after allegedly siphoning off the money from the East Orange Firefighters' Relief Fund between January 2011 and February of last year.

    Donatelli recently retired from the East Orange Fire Department.

    "This fund was established to assist widows and orphans of firefighters or firefighters who are facing extreme hardship," Essex County Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor Walter Dirkin said. "Instead this defendant used the money for his personal benefit."

    The chief of the East Orange Fire Department, Charles Salley, said the case was unfortunate. 

    Lawyer information for Donatelli was not immediately available.