George William Gray pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to grand larceny and other charges. The 68-year-old chaired the Glen Cove fire department's general fund for almost 20 years before retiring last year.
Gray was held on $50,000 bond or $10,000 cash bail. He's due back in court on Monday.
Prosecutors say Gray wrote over 300 checks for pricey cigars, model railroad equipment and other items over a six-year period.
They say he forged the department treasurer's signature on over 100 checks.
His lawyer, Peter Bongiorno, declined comment.
Gray now lives in Hendersonville, N.C.