Former Hopkins County Fire Chief Carl Nix was taken into custody by Delta County Sheriff's officers just after 9 a.m. Friday on a third-degree felony theft warrant from Hopkins County.
Nix was arraigned before Eighth Judicial District Judge Eddie Northcutt at the Delta County Courthouse. Northcutt set bond at $10,000 for Nix, who was released after posting the bond.
Texas Rangers filed charges against Nix following an investigation into discrepancies in fuel purchase records discovered as Nix was stepping down from the top county fire and rescue position.
“During our transition process, we came across discrepancies in expenditures,” said Hopkins County Judge Chris Brown. “We asked Texas Ranger John Vance to look into some of these things. He launched an investigation and this is the culmination of that investigation.”
Brown said that when the discrepancies were discovered, he and the commissioners court felt that turning the investigation over to Vance was necessary because the apparent thefts involved a county employee and a county department.
Information gained in the Ranger's investigation was turned over to District Attorney Will Ramsay, who said an arrest warrant for third-degree felony theft would be issued.
The alleged theft involved unauthorized fuel purchases over a period of years of more than $1,500 but less than $20,000.
Nix began as a part-time Hopkins County firefighter in October 1999 and was promoted in 2004 to county fire chief, where he also served as the county's emergency management coordinator responsible for emergency planning.
Nix also has been a firefighter for Grapevine Fire Department for the past 28 years and currently is a battalion chief in that department, where chief administration officials had no comment on his legal problems.
The former county fire chief is expected to appear in district court in Hopkins County within the next week to 10 days to answer to the felony theft charges.
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