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Firefighter Charged With Looting Following Joplin Tornado

Associated Press

July 21, 2011

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Jasper County prosecutor has charged one Kansas firefighter with stealing after the May 22 tornado.

Prosecutor Dean Dankelson on Wednesday filed a misdemeanor charge of stealing against 25-year-old Matthew W. Page.

Page was one of three Baxter Springs, Kan., firefighters dismissed in June for alleged misconduct while responding to the tornado. Fire Chief Les Page, the father of Matt Page, was placed on administrative leave.

Dankelson alleges that Page took items from Joplin’s Home Depot. He says there wasn’t enough evidence to charge a second suspected firefighter. A third firefighter was dismissed for alleged misuse of his position while helping on his own time.

The Joplin Globe reports that Baxter Springs City Attorney Robert Myers says chief Les Page was never suspected of any wrongdoing and has been reinstated.