BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) – The former chief of Sophia City Fire Department rejected a plea deal in an embezzlement case.

Earlier today, August 24, 2022, Kenneth Churning, the former Sophia City Fire Chief, was accused of allegedly stealing more than $100,000 from his department. The theft took place while he was Chief, from 2017 to 2019.

Churning has been charged with felony embezzlement and three counts of fraudulent schemes for embezzling the money from his own department.

However, Churning rejected the plea deal for the embezzlement, and now the case will go to trial.

“We plan to make public corruption cases one of the hallmarks of what we’re doing and this certainly might be the first one up.”

Ben Hatfield, Raleigh County Prosecutor

Churning’s case will go to trial on December 5th, 2022 at 9 A.M.