Former Fire Chief, Two Others Charged With Theft in Iowa

MOUNT VERNON, Iowa (AP) -- The city's former fire chief and two former firefighters were charged with theft for allegedly stealing money from the fire department.

Paul Pata, 40, of Mount Vernon, and Jessica West, 24, also of Mount Vernon, each were charged with second-degree theft. Police said they each took more than $1,000 from the department.

Brian Norton, 37, of Bertram, was charged with third-degree theft for allegedly taking more than $500 from the department, records show.

A state audit found more than $6,000 in improper spending and uncollected funds at the fire department, records show.

Pata has reimbursed the department $3,500, state Auditor David Vaudt said.

The money was used for person items, such as food, gifts and flowers, he said.

Information from: The Gazette