Group rebuilding fire station rocked by scandal - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Group rebuilding fire station rocked by scandal

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Source: Erika Gonzalez Source: Erika Gonzalez
Source: Elmore County Jail Source: Elmore County Jail
CHILTON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -

A new board for the West Chilton County Fire Department is scrambling to clean up the mess a shocking scandal left behind.

In July the station's three board members were arrested. Steve Tate, his wife Donna Tate and Apache Corona are accused of stealing thousands from the department's funds.

A spokesman for the State Fire Marshall's office confirms Steve Tate was also the station's fire chief and a deputy for the Chilton County Sherriff's office.

"I think the community was a little bit in shock and didn't really expect all the magnitude of what went on," Jerrod Leach explained.

He is one of three board members elected during a community meeting Saturday morning. Tim Lovett and Lynn Gothard were also picked for the job.

"We knew it would be a big job, but I don't know if we've kind of underestimated a little . We keep finding the things that we need to repair," Leach added.

Before the new leadership was elected, county commissioners voted to freeze the station's funding.

"We're working as hard as we can to get the department back on its feet. They want us to meet with the county's attorney to make sure we have everythingwe need," Leach explained.

The group is starting from scratch. That includes recruiting new volunteers and making sense of the financial situation they've inherited.

As the group works to rebuild the department, Leach wants to assure the community the most important thing is being taking care of.

"Right now the local neighboring departments are covering the territory for us so the citizens are being protected," Leach added.

The State Fire Marshall's spokesperson says their agency still has an ongoing investigation.

Meanwhile an assistant district attorney for the county says they have turned the case over to the attorney general.

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