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Texas Fire Chief and Family Members Charged with Embezzlement

A Texas fire chief, his mother, and his sister have been arrested and charged with embezzling approximately $40,000 from the Iola Volunteer Fire Department.  Fire Chief Earl Sword, his mother Wanda Sword (an accountant of the fire department)  and his sister Samantha Kimich (the secretary for the fire department) were arrested and charged with second-degree felony theft. The alleged embezzlement occurred over the last two years.

An investigation was started after the fire department’s assistant fire chief informed police about alleged misuse of department funds. A request for the department expense statement to the county auditor stated that the Fire Chief Earl Sword had reported that all the financial documents were stolen from the department. Investigations revealed that fire department funds were used to pay for non-fire department related expenses.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Chip Comstock

    Unfortunately this happens all too frequently. Non-governmental fire departments need to have practices in place to minimize these risks. Many are simple to do. However often the leadership does not want to implement such changes because we are afraid of offending someone. That’s no excuse for not protecting the assets of the organization.

  • Foremer Member

    Unfortunately, the checks and balances were overridden by having three of the six officers in the department as family and at least one other as a part of the chiefs clan. The chief had run off everyone that even got close to finding out what was going on. I know, I was one of them. He drove every good volunteer off and filled the department with his buds that he gave stuff to and let have free rein to do what they wanted.