Former Bethalto Fire Chief, Zoning Administrator, and Code Enforcement Officer Richard Mersinger has been indicted by a Madison County Grand Jury. The 39-year-old is facing 4 counts of Official Misconduct and a single count of Health Care Benefits Fraud. He was taken into custody this morning, and has been released on bond, which was set at $15,000.
The Bethalto Police Department began investigating Mersinger in October of last year, at which time Mersinger tendered his resignation at that month's Village Board meeting. It is alleged that there were at least 140 suspected fraudulent Occupancy Permit Inspections that happened under Mersinger's watch as Code Enforcement Officer, four of which were documented on non-existing addresses. He is also accused of having the village pay for health care benefits for his ex-wife for four years after their 2011 divorce. Bethalto Police declined an offer to comment.