Former Chairman Pleads Not Guilty to Theft from Fire District

By Beacon Staff

The former chairman of the Hungry Horse Fire Department board of trustees has pleaded not guilty to taking about $2,600 from the district.

Ross Barker was arrested Nov. 17 and charged with felony theft and misdemeanor official misconduct. Barker entered his plea Thursday before District Judge Ted Lympus.

Flathead County officials began investigating when they learned the district was facing a $70,000 deficit. No one else has been charged in connection with the shortfall.

Prosecutors allege that between July 2007 and February 2010, Barker wrote fire department checks to his wife for $1,052 and used department money to purchase parts for personal vehicles totaling $1,537.

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