Kinloch fire chief, wife accused of stealing department funds

KINLOCH, MO (KPLR) – The former mayor of Kinloch and his spouse are accused of ripping off the Kinloch Fire District. Both have top ranking spots with the department. They are accused of using more than $8,000 of the department money for their own use, including paying for the funeral of a relative.

Prosecutors said fire chief Darren Small and wife Jayna, president of the board of directors for the fire district, have been using the district funds.

Each faces the same three charges including fraud. According to court documents, aside from the funeral, the couple spent a lot of other money on liquor, food, clothes, and paying their utility bills.

Prosecutors say it’s been going on for quite a while.

“According to the complaint, we believe somewhere from 2013—late 2013—up until early March,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Reginald Harris.

“I’m more heartbroken. I work very hard for this department. Recently over the last six or eight months, I’ve had a lot of talks with Chief Small about the future of the department and where we’re going with it, and he had big ideas, as well as I do, and now to see what’s been going on this whole entire time, it’s sad,” said Assistant Fire Chief Tim Rhodus, Kinloch Fire Department.

If convicted, both face up to 35 years in prison.