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Three arrested for alleged theft of fire department funds

Three West Chilton Volunteer Fire Department officials were arrested this week in connection with the alleged theft of fire department funds.

Donna Tate, 40, Steve Tate, 44, and Apache Corona, 39, were arrested on charges including theft of property and extortion, according to an Alabama Department of Insurance State Fire Marshal’s Office press release.

Donna Tate, of Thorsby, was arrested July 29 and charged with first-degree theft of property and first-degree extortion, with each charge carrying a $50,000 bond for a total of $100,000.

Corona, of Jemison, was arrested July 29 and charged with first-degree theft of property with a bond of $50,000.

Both Donna Tate and Corona were listed as treasurers of the West Chilton Volunteer Fire Department, the release said.

Steve Tate, a Chilton County Sheriff’s deputy and fire chief of the West Chilton Volunteer Fire Department, was arrested July 30 and charged with first-degree extortion and first-degree theft of property for a total bond of $100,000.

Steve Tate and Donna Tate are husband and wife, according to the Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office.

The three suspects were taken into custody by the Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office.

No further details have been released as an investigation by the 19th Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office and the State Fire Marshal’s Office continues.