Investigators: Darrow Assistant Fire Chief arrested for misuse of fuel card

Investigators: Darrow Assistant Fire Chief arrested for misuse of fuel card

DARROW, LA (WAFB) - A trusted volunteer firefighter in Ascension Parish is accused of misusing tax payers' money.

Darrow Assistant Fire Chief, Tarrell Milan, turned himself in to Gonzales police before 8 a.m. Monday morning.

Malin had nothing to say as Gonzales police officers escorted him to jail. He allegedly used parish-issued fuel cards to put gas in his personal vehicle.

Chairman of the Ascension Parish Fire Board District #1, James LeBlanc, said Darrow Volunteer Fire Chief Peter Roblin reported the alleged abuse.

"When the written statements were coming in from the parish, the local fire chief noticed that his spreadsheets were not adding up with his fuel purchases," LeBlanc explained.

Gonzales Police Detective Steve Nethken said investigators were able to track the transactions totaling over $800 to three different gas stations in the city. He said surveillance footage from a convenience store also allegedly shows Malin gassing up his own vehicle with the parish card.

On Monday, Nethken said, Malin confessed he had been doing it since March.

"His reasoning for doing it is that he needed fuel money. He's a sole provider in his home, and he needed the money to get back and forth to work," Nethken said.

LeBlanc said the parish has a solid system for keeping tabs on employees who carry fuel cards.

"Every firefighter that purchases fuel in the parish has a pin number. When they purchase fuel they have to put it in system or card will not work," LeBlanc explained.

Milan has been suspended. He served with the Darrow Volunteer Fire Department for 15 years, six as assistant chief.

He is charged with one count of felony theft and 14 counts of unauthorized use of an access card.

"It's a shame because you're dealing with a community volunteer fire dept and a volunteer firefighter that does a lot for his community. He made a bad choice," LeBlanc said.

"It's upsetting. It's sad. As public servants, the community trusts us and this cost us that trust. We have to fix that," Roblin said.

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