The former Merit fire chief, Wilfred Lewis Barber, has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $6,000 dollars from the volunteer fire department.
His wife and former VFD treasurer, Connie Lou Barber, was also indicted on theft between $2,500-$30,000. Those charges were, however, dropped.
Under the plea bargain agreement, Barber was sentenced to 10 years of probation and restitution of more than $6,000.
The MVFD held an emergency meeting in July of 2017 wherein Lewis and Connie were voted out of the fire department due to what officials called suspicious activities with the account and bills being behind.
“We turned this information over to the Hunt County Fire Marshal’s office, where an official investigation was started,” officials said.