Gordonville firefighters indicted on federal tampering charges

By: KXII Staff Email
By: KXII Staff Email

SHERMAN, Tex. -- Two Gordonville volunteer firefighters were indicted Thursday on charges of tampering with government records in 2006.

Michael Edwin Simmons and Donny Peel have been with the Gordonville Volunteer Fire Department for the past year and half. Now, their positions could be in jeopardy as new allegations surface that they falsified documents in order to get more federal funding for the fire department.

Peel and Summers turned themselves into Precinct Three Constable Todd Booher on December 31 after a warrant was issued for their arrest.

Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown told KXII-TV last Friday both men face charges of tampering with government records. Brown says the Department of Homeland Security was alerted about possible violations after they received a complaint.

According to court records, the two men completed competency tests for other firefighters without their knowledge. The completed tests, which are part of the National Incident Management System, would allow the Gordonville Volunteer Fire Department to receive federal funding.

Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown says the federal government has been investigating the case since August 2007.

The two men appeared in front of a grand jury on Thursday in Sherman.

"Going online and using other people’s names and social security numbers to take the test is problematic because it’s against the law and it’s misrepresentation," assistant district attorney J. Kerye Ashmore said.

Peel is currently serving as the interim fire chief, and Simmons is on leave.

District attorney Joe Brown says if convicted of tampering with government records, the men could face up to two years in jail.


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