BCSO arrests former chief of Steele Creek Acres VFD

Editor: Shannon Cottongame

October 6, 2022

The Bosque County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) announced last week that it had arrested a former chief of the Steele Creek Acres Volunteer Fire Department in Morgan.

Bosque County Sheriff Trace Hendricks reported that the arrest came after a lengthy investigation regarding suspected misappropriation of department-owned funds.

Former chief Russel Reitzer was arrested Thursday, September 29, and charged with three counts of tampering with government records, a state jail felony.

The investigation began last December, when BCSO investigators and the Texas Rangers began looking into the financial operations of the fire department. The sheriff said that the investigation was initiated due to allegations from within the department as well as incidents reported by citizens.

Hendricks said that as a result of the findings and the seriousness of the allegations, he temporarily suspended Steele Creek VFD from responding to calls and Reitzer was removed from the fire department.

Nearby departments, including Lakeside Village and West Shore VFDs, were called upon to provide emergency response in the department’s service area.

According to BCSO, this “stand down order” did not prevent the Steele Creek Acres VFD’s membership from gathering or from conducting in-house training or meetings.

“I wish to stress to our citizens that this was an isolated incident and was reported by concerned members of the department and community members,” the sheriff said. “The Steele Creek VFD was placed back on call out status several months ago, is now under new leadership and maintains an open line of communication with law enforcement and the Bosque County VFD Association.”

Hendricks added, “The support of our volunteer fire departments is of the utmost importance, as it provides the funds to equip and operate each department. I will continue to support and donate to all volunteer fire departments and I encourage the same of our citizens.”

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