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Sheriff: Central Texas volunteer fire chief arrested on state felony

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Posted at 6:06 PM, Sep 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-29 19:06:06-04

BOSQUE COUNTY, Texas — The former chief of the Steele Creek Acres Volunteer Fire Department, Russel Reitzer, was arrested Thursday, officials said.

Bosque County sheriff's deputies and the Texas Rangers opened an investigation after allegations were made against Reitzer from within the fire department and citizens, claiming the misappropriation of department-owned funds.

The investigation was first opened on Dec. 1, 2021.

Officials said due to the seriousness of the alleged crimes and their preliminary findings, Sheriff Hendricks of Bosque County suspended the call out operations of Steel Creek Acres VFD. Reitzer was also removed as chief and a member of the department.

A more thorough investigation resulted in three warrants being served to Reitzer and him charged with tampering with government records, a state jail felony, officials said.

Steel Creek Acres' VFD members are still allowed to gather, train, and have meetings despite the "stand down order," officials 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," said Sheriff Hendricks. "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...and I encourage the same of our citizens."

During this time, authorities from Lakeside Village and West Shore Fire Departments will fulfill any emergencies in Steel Creek Acres' jurisdiction.