BOSQUE COUNTY, Texas (FOX 44) – The former Steele Creek Acres Volunteer Fire Department chief has been arrested, and is charged with Tampering with Government Records.

Bosque County Sheriff’s Office Investigators and the Texas Rangers opened an investigation into the financial operations of the Steele Creek Acres Volunteer Fire Department on December 2, 2021. The investigation was initiated due to allegations from within the department as well as reported incidents by citizens.

Sheriff Trace Hendricks says that as a result of findings in the initial investigation, and also due to the seriousness of the allegations, the Steele Creek Volunteer Fire Department was temporarily suspended from responding to any call outs whatsoever and regardless of the nature. At this time, Russell Riley Reitzer was removed as chief and a member of the fire department.

As a safety precaution, and in order to avoid interrupted emergency response when needed, the Lakeside Village VFD and West Shore VFD were called upon to provide emergency response to anything that could have happened. The “stand down order” did not prevent the Steele Creek VFD membership from gathering or from conducting in house training or meetings. This order is solely related to emergency response.

Sheriff Hendricks says that following a lengthy investigation of suspected misappropriation of department owned funds, three warrants were obtained for Reitzer. He was apprehended on September 29, 2022, without incident. Reitzer is charged with three counts of Tampering with Government Records – a state-jail felony.

The Steele Creek VFD was placed back on call out status several months ago, and is now under new leadership. It maintains an open line of communication with law enforcement, and with the Bosque County Volunteer Fire Department Association.