GREEN RIVER — Michael George Nomis pleaded not guilty to two charges stemming from the alleged embezzlement of funds from the Green River Fire Department Foundation.
Nomis entered his pleas to Judge Suzannah G. Robinson during his arraignment Thursday morning in Sweetwater County Third District Court via video conference. The hearing was conducted virtually due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. His trial is set for 9 a.m. on Oct. 5, 2020.
Sweetwater County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Nomis and his wife, Stephanie Nomis, on March 2, assisted by special agents from the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation’s Southwest Enforcement Team. Michael Nomis was chief of the Green River Fire Department at the time.
Michael Nomis is charged with alleged felony theft and wrongful appropriation of public property. In Wyoming, theft of $1,000 or more is a felony punishable by a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine; and wrongful appropriation of public property is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year of imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. The alleged crimes took place between Feb. 4 to Dec. 22, 2019.
Bond was continued at $15,000 cash or surety. During the arraignment, bond conditions were modified. Nomis is to have no direct or indirect contact with any past or present members of the Green River Fire Department with the exception of his father George Nomis. The language was changed to no "known" past or present members of the GRFD.
ABOUT THE GRFD FOUNDATION
The GRFD Foundation was established to supplement the budget provided to the fire department from the city, according to a press release issued in March. The foundation fund includes three separate bank accounts designated for different purposes such as equipment, victim services, etc.
Each of the accounts holds money that is donated by local community organizations and businesses until it is needed by the fire department. The GRFD Foundation also has a social fund that is subsidized directly from the paychecks of the department’s volunteer firefighters. Any expenditure from the four accounts is strictly regulated by both foundation and city bylaws.