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Former Altus assistant fire chief arrested

ALTUS, Okla._A former assistant fire chief was arrested in Jackson County District Court on charges of obtaining money under false pretense.

Rick Mealer, 57, surrendered to authorities Thursday. He was booked into the Jackson County Jail and later released on his own recognizance.

Mealer is accused of falsifying timesheets and receiving money for days that he did not work. The amount totaled over $18,000.

"These are taxpayer monies being used to pay the salaries of the employees of the City of Altus. I believe the citizens, as well as our employer, have an expectation from their employees and that is to record timesheets accurately and more importantly honestly," said Police Chief Tim Murphy.       

Police believe Mealer claimed 29 days of work, at his regular pay rate and an over-time rate, from September 2010 until his retirement on July 30, 2015. Altus police began investigating Mealer in early August 2015.

Mealer faces a charge of obtaining money under false pretense.    

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