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FBI arrests Denton County fire chief; suit against department claims he stole firefighters' pension

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Denton County Emergency Services District No. 1 Fire Chief Mac Hohenberger, left, stands near a fire engine at the Argyle Fire Department, along with other fire personnel, in this September 2020 file photo.

The FBI on Thursday arrested Denton County Emergency Services District No. 1 Fire Chief Mac Hohenberger at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, an FBI spokesperson says. A lawsuit filed against his department alleges he stole money from firefighters’ pension account.

FBI public information officer Melinda Urbina told the Denton Record-Chronicle that Hohenberger was arrested without incident roughly around 5 p.m. as he was returning from a flight.

The FBI cannot comment on charges until an indictment is unsealed and Hohenberger has had his first court appearance, Urbina said. This likely would happen Monday, she said.

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Mac Hohenberger

The county’s director of community relations, Dawn Cobb, referred all questions Thursday to the FBI.

FBI agents searched the Argyle Fire Department’s administrative office Thursday, the Record-Chronicle‘s news partner, NBC5, reported. Court documents that could detail the case remain sealed.

NBC5 reports a former firefighter, Harold “Trey” Ring, filed a federal lawsuit against the Fire Department in August, alleging pension money was misappropriated for 46 Argyle firefighters over the past five years.

The suit alleges Hohenberger had maintained the department’s finances since at least 2010, other published media reports indicated.

“We’re surprised the FBI has raided the Fire Department but not shocked,” Ring’s attorney, Eric Roberson, told NBC5. “The financial mismanagement they’ve admitted to is already clear.”

Hohenberger retired from the district earlier in 2022 after 30 years of service, a job posting for a new fire chief states.

Argyle Fire Department spokeswoman Megan Reynolds told NBC5 she had no comment on what was happening but said she might have more details to announce at a later date.