A former Newport Fire Protection District deputy chief was charged Friday with five counts of possession of child pornography after a family member discovered the images on his home computer and called police, Lake County State's Attorney officials announced Friday.
If found guilty, Joe Hubbard, 53, of the 4100 block of Russell Avenue in Gurnee, could be sentenced up to five years in jail, officials said.
Hubbard, who resigned his post as deputy chief at Newport Township when the investigation began in late September, is also eligible for probation, officials said.
Hubbard was a member of the Gurnee Fire Department until 2006, when he took the deputy chief position at Newport Township.
Attorney Robert Hauser of Waukegan said Hubbard was released on a $50,000 signature bond following a hearing in bond court Friday morning.
"My client has been cooperative throughout the process," Hauser said. "He knew he was going to be arrested and we were just waiting for it to happen."
Assistant State's Attorney Mary Stanton said the investigation into Hubbard started Sept. 24 when a family member discovered images of child pornography in an e-mail folder on Hubbard's home computer.
The family member contacted Gurnee police, Stanton said, and the police obtained a search warrant for the home computer.
Hubbard was asked about the images, Stanton said, and he told police they had been e-mailed to him.
During the investigation, Newport fire officials consented to search the computers at the fire station where Hubbard worked, Stanton said. That investigation is ongoing.
Newport Fire Protection District Chief Mark Kirschhoffer said in a news release "the district is very troubled by the allegations and working to determine if any of the allegations occurred while Mr. Hubbard was working for the district."
He added district officials will continue to work closely with police, but are unable to comment further.
Hubbard is due back in court Oct. 30.