Texas Chief Pleads Guilty to Stealing Department Funds

The former fire chief of Denton County Emergency Services District 1 has pled guilty to 13 counts of stealing. Troy Mac Hohenberger was accused of stealing more than $490,000 from the Argyle Volunteer Fire Department.

Hohenberger was indicted by a federal grand jury last November. The theft came to light as a direct result of a wrongful termination lawsuit brought by a firefighter in 2021. That firefighter, Harold Ring, claims he was terminated in 2020 for “asking too many questions” about a 401(k) plan that Hohenberger managed for employees. Ring’s suit contends the chief yelled at him and later fabricated disciplinary charges due to concerns he raised about the fund.

Information gleaned from discovery in Ring’s suit led the FBI to investigate and ultimately charge Hohenberger with stealing nearly $500,000 from the fire department, mismanaging its 401(k) plan, and making false statements to the US Department of Labor. Here is more about guilty plea.

Here is a press release from Denton County EDS#1:

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 45 years of fire service experience and 35 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014, 4th ed. 2022) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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