Investigators, Texas Ranger to take part in meeting to address questions about Arbala VFD

From Staff Reports

August 6, 2008 - A community meeting will be hosted Thursday for the residents served by Arbala Volunteer Fire Department.

The meeting, called by AVFD, will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday in Arbala Community Center. Members will be present to discuss recent allegations of criminal findings and how that impacts the department and community, according to AVFD member J.W. Ragan.

Law enforcement officials are slated to be on hand to answer questions pertaining to charges of funds being stolen from the department.

"We'll be there to answer -- as much as we can -- any questions the community may have about the case," said Hopkins County Sheriff's Investigator Lewis Tatum, who noted that due to the ongoing criminal investigation, there are certain things they will not be able to divulge, as is standard procedure in such instances.

Tatum, Texas Ranger John Vance and Sheriff Butch Adams are among the officials slated to be present at the meeting Thursday night.

Overall, more than $69,000 was stolen from the AVFD fund beginning in June of 2007 through July of 2008, Tatum said. Yadira Aguilar Darden has been charged with third-degree felony theft in the case.

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