Former Kansas fire chief admits to stealing from township - KCTV5

Former Kansas fire chief admits to stealing from township

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A former Leavenworth County fire chief has admitted to stealing more than $14,000 from the township.

Jeff Theno, who oversaw the volunteer agency, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a charge of felony theft. The Basehor man admitted to stealing from the Fairmont Township.

He told KCTV5 on Wednesday that he had every intention of finishing the work and plans to pay back all the money.

Theno's theft was under covered after Brandon Roberts was elected treasurer for the township. He began to review work orders.

"I started asking questions of where some of this stuff was and never really got a straight answer and that got me suspicious," Roberts said.

Theno had agreed to get paid $2,300 to remodel a township fire station. The project had risen to more than $14,000 but the receipts were for quotes and not actual work, officials said.

After Roberts raised questions, the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office and Kansas Bureau of Investigations got involved and determined that the money was gone but the work hadn't been done.

Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson then filed the theft charge earlier this year. Roberts said turning in a 17-year fire veteran was difficult.

"It's not something you want to do," Roberts said. "It's quite a bit on my shoulders."

Theno will be sentenced next month. Prosecutors are recommending that he get probation and not serve jail time, and that he must make restitution. 

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