Former fire chief exposed By I-Team faces felony theft charges

Fire chief indicted

HOUSTON – A former Westfield Volunteer Fire Department chief faces criminal charges, months after the KHOU 11 News I-Team exposed questionable spending of public money.

A Harris County Grand Jury indicted Maurine Turrentine on Friday on one count of theft by a public servant, a first degree felony, and one count of misapplication of fiduciary property.

Prosecutors say Turrentine used more than $100,000 of fire department money for personal expenses.

Last fall, the I-Team uncovered records showing Westfield Fire Department's credit cards were used to purchase women's clothing and other items at stores including Victoria's Secret.

Records also showed Turrentine took personal loans from fire department funds.

Prosecutors have not yet said how much money Turrentine is accused of taking.

However, a confidential settlement agreement, the I-Team uncovered, shows Turrentine pledged to repay the department $180,000.

The schedule laid out in the agreement allows Turrentine more than 44 years to pay in full.

Turrentine's attorney, Jim Mount, told the I-Team it's his practice not to comment on pending cases.

The former chief's bond has been set at $300,000.

If convicted of the first degree felony, Turrentine could face a sentence ranging from probation to life in prison.

Two other former Westfield Fire Department chiefs also agreed to repay the department thousands of dollars.

Today prosecutors said they do not expect either one will be charged in this case.


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