Houston Mesa Fire Chief Under Investigation

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Houston Mesa Volunteer Fire District Chief Frank Hansen was replaced by former Payson Fire Chief Chuck Jacobs Wednesday night, following allegations of improper use of fire district funds.

"The chief was placed on suspension last night and I was approached about being the interim chief for a little while," Jacobs said. "There are some allegations of some things going on that should not have gone on. It's apparently in the realm of law enforcement now and probably wouldn't be appropriate to comment on it further."

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Frank Hansen

Fire Board Chairperson Sherry Weller declined to comment on the allegations, but confirmed that an alleged misuse of funds was involved, and the matter was turned over to the Gila County Sheriff's Office for investigation.

Det. Brian Havey confirmed they are conducting an investigation, but said officials could not discuss the matter at this time.

Jacobs previously stepped in to assist the department in 2000, when the entire fire board resigned due to infighting.

"That's what I do. I am a fire service consultant," Jacobs said. "I've done that before, in fact, I was interim administrator in lieu of the board in 2000. I'm just trying to help the folks out. Maybe I can go out there and add some stability to the place for a little while, until they resolve what they are going to do."

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