Stephenville Fire Marshal Gary Nabors was taken into custody Thursday afternoon at his office and charged with online solicitation of a minor.
District Attorney Jason Cashon said Texas Ranger Danny Briley is leading the ongoing investigation with assistance from other jurisdictions.
“The investigation has been under way for a significant period of time,” Cashon said.
Cashon would not comment further, citing the pending investigation and also declined to offer information on the victim, but said Nabors is charged with a second-degree felony.
According to the Texas Penal Code, online solicitation of a minor is a third-degree felony offense unless the victim, or individual acting as a victim, is under the age of 14, in which case it is a second-degree felony.
City Administrator Mark Kaiser said Nabors has been working for the city since May 1979 and worked in several departments. He worked as the city’s building inspector until being promoted to fire marshal in April 1986.
Kaiser said the city is fully cooperating with the investigation and that Texas Rangers have seized city property including Nabors’ cell phone and office computer.
Following the arrest, Nabors was immediately placed on administrative leave, Kaiser said.
“We have gathered his key and secured city assets,” Kaiser said, adding that Nabors’ computer password and access were blocked.
Nabors was booked into the Erath County Jail just before 7 p.m. Thursday. Bond has not been set, but he is expected to be arraigned today.
A second-degree felony offense is punishable by two to 20 years in prison.