LEE, Mass. (AP) — A western Massachusetts police chief who's been indicted on federal extortion and money laundering charges has been fired, but not because of the federal allegations.

The Lee Board of Selectmen unanimously agreed Tuesday night to fire Chief Joseph Buffis for what they said was improperly billing the town for his personal cellphone.

The board said the 55-year-old Buffis billed the town for nearly $5,000 over two years to pay for his family cellphone plan.

Buffis did not attend, but the Berkshire Eagle (http://bit.ly/16LeIk6 ) reports that his lawyer said she would appeal the termination.

Federal prosecutors say Buffis used his position to extort a $4,000 donation in February 2012 to a charity fund he controlled, then withdrew most of the money and used it for personal expenses. He denies the charges.


Information from: The Berkshire (Mass.) Eagle, http://www.berkshireeagle.com