Former fire chief reportedly admits to stealing money from department

A former volunteer fire chief is facing a felony theft charge after he allegedly admitted to stealing money from the department for "many years," according to an arrest warrant.

Jimmy Cooper, former chief for the Turtle Creek Volunteer Fire Department, was arrested March 27 and released approximately four hours later.

Cooper reportedly admitted to an Arkansas State Police special agent "to using funds from the Turtle Creek Fire Department for personal reasons," according to an arrest warrant filed in Saline County Circuit Court.

These funds were reportedly used for a repair to Cooper's personal utility all-terrain vehicle and material for his brother's house.

"He wrote himself checks out of that account for many years, but denied anyone else was involved. Cooper stated that he would get gasoline in his personal truck, that was equipped with lights for fire calls after he would do work for the fire department, like driving around the district to update new houses or buildings for tax records," according to the warrant.

More information about this arrest will be included in Tuesday's edition of The Saline Courier.