Bay County Fire Captain Arrested on Grand Theft Charges

Michelle Gutierrez, 53, mugshot.
Michelle Gutierrez, 53, mugshot.(Bay County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 2:20 PM CST
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A Bay County Fire Captain is facing Grand Theft charges.

Bay County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Michelle Gutierrez, 53, a Captain with Bay County Fire.

Bay County officials said they alerted deputies to timecard discrepancies found during an internal investigation. According to BCSO, an investigation by the Bay County Clerk of the Court Inspector General found Gutierrez obtained about $94,000 over a five-year period after documenting hours she had not worked.

BCSO said Gutierrez’s employment with the county was terminated July 29, 2022. Bay County Emergency Management tells NewsChannel 7 Gutierrez worked with Bay County Fire for more than 17 years.

The audit results were turned over to the BCSO. A criminal investigation began and resulted in Grand Theft charges against Gutierrez.

“We appreciate the assistance of the Bay County Clerk of the Court and the Bay County Sheriff’s Office in this matter,” said Bay County Manager Bob Majka, in a news release. “We expect trustworthiness and professionalism of our employees, and we are committed to providing the public with transparent, honest service.”

In the news release, Majika said Bay County’s Emergency Management’s timecard policies and procedures have been revised, “to ensure no further duplicity in record keeping.”

BCSO said Gutierrez turned herself in on Thursday and was booked into the Bay County Jail.