GREEN RIVER — Former Green River Fire Department Chief Mike Nomis has been sentenced to 3-7 years in prison for the theft of nearly $60,000 from the department.
Nomis was arrested along with his wife Stephanie back in May after a lengthy investigation revealed the couple stole nearly $100,000 from the GRFD Foundation coffers from 2017-2019.
Nomis initially pleaded not guilty to one felony theft count and one misdemeanor count of misappropriation of public property. He later changed that plea in September, and had his sentencing today.
Nomis and his attorney John LaBuda asked the court for probation. But Third District Court Judge Suzannah Robinson said the aggravating factors in the case outweighed the mitigating factors and that probation was not appropriate.
One of those aggravating factors was involving his own family in the crimes. Stephanie Nomis is currentlly incarcerated and awaiting sentencing in a separate case stemming from a similar crime.
A number of victim impact statements were read into the court record by County Attorney Dan Erramouspe. Several of Nomis’ colleagues also testified in person about the damage his actions caused the department and the community. All of them concurred that Nomis should do jail time and pay restitution for his crimes.
Nomis also violated a no-contact order established after his appearance in circuit court when he approached Deputy Chiefs Larry Erdman and Bill Robinson on two separate occasions encouraging them to speak with City Administrator Reed Clevenger about getting his job back.
Nomis delivered an emotional statement to the court expressing remorse for his actions. He asked Robinson for probation because that was the only way he would be able to make financial restitution for his crimes.
He told her he was in the process of selling his house and was working two jobs in order to pay the money back in a timely fashion.
But while Robinson acknowledged this was a very difficult case to sentence, she pointed out that Nomis’ remorsefulness did not outweigh the damage he had done to the GRFD’s reputation.
She said other aggravating factors included Nomis threatening to fire GRFD members who approached authorities about his crimes. Robinson also questioned the level of his remorse when she spoke about money he had stolen that is often used to aid victims after a fire has occurred at their home. And she added there were “hundreds of actions” Nomis did in embezzling the money
“You involved your family in this, and that’s the first aggravating factor” Robinson told Nomis after handing down the sentence. “And not just your immediate family. You involved your family at the fire department.”
Deputy county attorney Hillary McKinney said “this is no run-of-the-mill embezzlement case” because of the many people it affected. She argued for a 4-8 year sentence in the state penitentiary along with restitution.
Nomis will pay in excess of $60,000 in restitution and court fees in addition to his prison sentence. He was also sentenced to serve one year in the Sweetwater County Detention Facility for his misdemeanor count which will run concurrent with his felony sentence.
Stephanie Nomis is scheduled for her sentencing hearing in the early part of next year.