KINGMAN – Victor Riccardi is a free man after changing his plea Tuesday to guilty felony charges of conflict of interest and misuse of funds as board member of Northern Arizona Consolidated Fire District.
Riccardi, 81, had been in Mohave County Jail without bond since Dec. 20, refusing to accept a plea bargain and requesting a jury trial.
After changing lawyers, Riccardi pleaded guilty to two Class 6 felony counts of conflict of interest and misuse of public funds, both non-dangerous offenses.
Upon completion of three years supervised probation, the state will dismiss one count of misuse of public money, and reduce the second count of conflict of interest to an undesignated Class 1 misdemeanor.
Superior Court Judge Rick Lambert set judgment and sentencing for Feb. 20. Riccardi was facing one year in prison for the felony counts, which could be increased to two years or decreased to four months.
Riccardi was ordered to pay restitution of $1,357 to NACFD, along with performing 100 hours of community service, and he won’t be allowed to serve on the NACFD board after his sentencing.
He’s also not allowed to participate as a board member pending his judgment and sentencing.
The conflict of interest stems from mechanical work performed on one of the district’s fire trucks at Riccardi’s automotive repair shop in Valle Vista. The work should have been put out to bid.
Riccardi was indicted by a grand jury in June for conflict of interest in regard to a $1,357 payment for mechanical work performed on a NACFD fire truck at Riccardi’s auto shop in Valle Vista.
He said he had “no idea” about a monetary limit on fire truck repairs before they have to go out for bid proposals.
Riccardi committed a second felony when he voted Sept. 27 on Mohave County Attorney’s request to waive attorney-client privilege for the May 18 executive session minutes in which the topic of the payment to Riccardi’s auto shop was discussed.
Riccardi asked if he would be able to perform his 100 hours of community service for NACFD, and prosecuting attorney James Schoppmann said that would be up to the probation department.