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Trial Date Set For Former Fire Chief

By Rick HowlettFormer McMahan Fire Chief Paul Barth is free on his own recognizance after turning himself in to federal authorities Tuesday morning.The 53 year old was indicted Monday on mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering charges.Authorities allege Barth used money intended for the Crusade for Children charity and department funds to pay himself extra salary and for personal expenses.Barth had no comment as he left the courthouse. His attorney, Charles Ricketts, had little to say other than his client is ready to move forward with the case."(We"ll) prepare for trial, obviously. That's what the justice system is all about. They make charges, we defend them," Ricketts said.Barth resigned from the fire department in January, and was later removed as chairman of the Crusade board.He's scheduled to stand trial June 14.The charges carry a maximum sentence of 150 years in prison and fines totalling $4 million.

Rick Howlett was midday host and the host of LPM's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." He was with LPM from 2001-2023 and held many different titles, including Morning Edition host, Assignment Editor and Interim News Director. He died in August 2023. Read a remembrance of Rick here.

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