A captain with the Stephenville Fire Department was taken into custody late Thursday afternoon at the station, accused of making approximately $43,000 in fraudulent transactions with a city-issued credit card.  

Stephen Apala has been charged with theft of $30,000 or more but less than $150,000 by a public servant, and transported to the Erath County Jail. 

According to a press release, police were contacted by city officials who noticed irregularities with credit card statements that were turned in by Apala.

The city has placed Apala on administrative leave.

City Administrator Allen Barnes said internal controls are in place to ensure the security of the city’s finances. 

“It is heartbreaking to think that a member of our team would potentially forsake the trust of the public,” Barnes said. “We as public employees have no greater responsibility than safeguarding our residents’ hard earned money entrusted to us.”