Barrow County Fire Chief Donald Towne was arrested Friday in Cairo with his wife and father-in-law, accused of stealing cable television service from Grady County’s public utility.
Towne, 40, turned himself in to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in Thomasville Friday morning and was charged with theft by taking, according to a statement from the GBI.
Towne’s wife, Tiffany Fowler, 29, of Cairo, was arrested as well and charged with five counts each of theft by taking and theft by computer.
Fowler was a billing employee at Community Network Services, a public cable and internet provider for the towns of Cairo, Camilla, Moultrie and Thomasville.
Towne’s father-in-law, James Whigham, 68, of Cairo, also was arrested, along with Christine Tuning, 30, of Tallahassee, Fla., and Allan Womble, 29, of Cairo. They were charged with theft by taking. Tuning received an additional charge of providing false information.
Battalion Chief John Skinner, who served as interim chief until Towne started on June 20, was asked to fill in as interim chief until the situation is resolved, Human Resources Director Norma Jean Brown said.
Steve Turner, the assistant special agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation office for the region that covers Grady County, said the investigation may yield more arrests.
Towne and the other four people arrested were arraigned today at the Grady County Jail, according to the Grady County Magistrate Court.
Commissioners voted to approve Towne as chief May 26. He is the county’s third chief in the last 16 months.
Times regional staff