Sheron Gibson had built an excellent reputation over the years. Apparently, he also was willing to undermine it. On June 25, Gibson, a longtime firefighter with the City of Suffolk, Virginia, was indicted in a state circuit court on 12 counts of embezzlement and one count of forgery following his arrest for the theft of at least $50,000, and likely more than $100,000, from the union where he served as treasurer, Local 2801 of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF). Following his arrest, he was released on a $2,500 bond.
Gibson, 41, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., was a local leader in safety promotion. Having joined the Suffolk fire department in 2003, he would be named Firefighter of the Year in 2009. A former medic, he taught emergency medical courses to fire department personnel in that city of 85,000. He even had been named Emergency Medical Technician of the Year in 2002. And he was a businessman, the owner of Suffolk Fire Extinguishers. But Gibson also was an embezzler. Court documents indicate that from 2008 until early 2014 he diverted an unspecified sum of IAFF Local 2801 funds, estimated alternately in excess of $50,000 and in excess of $100,000, to pay business bills owed to vendors. Following an internal union investigation, he resigned his fire department job on June 3. No trial date has been set.