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11:52 AM Tue, Nov. 13th

Colorado City chief indicted

KINGMAN - A Colorado City official is facing charges in connection with an investigation into the alleged misuse of Fire District funds.

Fire Chief Jacob Barlow is charged with 30 counts, including three counts of participating or assisting a criminal syndicate and 27 counts of violating his duties as a custodian of public funds.

Barlow was indicted Aug. 4 but was not placed under arrest. He'll make his first court appearance when he is arraigned in Mohave Superior Court next week.

The County Attorney's Office said it cannot comment if any more indictments will be handed down.

Prosecutors said Barlow's indictment is connected to search warrants served in April 2010 at the Colorado City and bordering Hildale, Utah, fire district offices, as well as the homes of Barlow and Colorado City Manager David Darger.

The affidavit leading to the search warrant alleged that Barlow and Darger were transferring money out of the district's account with the County Treasurer's Office and into two bank accounts. The account with the Treasurer's Office contains tax money given to the fire district that is to be used for district expenses.

Two transfers in December 2009 and January 2010 totaled $30,000. That money was believed to have been used to pay off fire district credit cards. The fire district reportedly had six credit cards at the time the search warrants were granted.

The investigation into the misappropriation of public funds began in early 2008, when an employee with the County's Office of Management and Budget received a phone call from an individual who said Barlow used the fire district's credit card to pay for dinner for his family.

Receipts and financial statements from as early as 2004 were seized when the search warrants were issued. Among the charges believed to be unrelated to fire district business are charges for meals, furniture, iPods, gift certificates to a business owned by Darger, boxes of chocolate, hams, linens, a mattress pad and charges for a 2-night trip for six people to Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, where no sanctioned fire training events were being held.