Howardwick Fire Chief and Treasurer arrested

Howardwick Fire Chief and Treasurer arrested
Sheriff Charles Butch Blackburn
Sheriff Charles Butch Blackburn

Amarillo, TX -  The Fire Chief and Treasurer for Howardwick Volunteer Fire Department were arrested on October 16th.

Fire Chief Rickey Parish and Treasurer Shella Parish have been accused of embezzling money from the fire department since June.

Officials say Parish and his wife stole an estimated 20,000 dollars from the department. Sheriff Charles Butch Blackburn says over 13,000 dollars was taken out of an ATM with the department's debit card. Blackburn said they were "basically living of the Howardwick Fire Department account." He said they were paying their bills with the money they allegedly store.

The Mayor of Howardwick, Michael Rowland, wants everyone to know that an unfortunate thing has happened to community but does not want the alleged  actions of the Parishes be a reflection upon the community as a whole. Rowland said "everyone gets a black eye and this is ours."

The Clarendon Fire Department will take over fire duties for Howardwick until further notice.

Parish and his wife have been charged with third degree theft and have made bail which was set at 20,000 dollars a piece.