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Crandall Fire Department fish fry and auction a success - Mark Cuban and Russ Martin donate

CRANDALL, Texas – You've probably heard the story before – the Crandall Fire Department was forced to sell two much-needed fire trucks and other fire equipment to satisfy one of two fraudulently obtained loans in the department's name.
Since learning of the fraudulent loans back in 2013, the community has rallied in support of the crippled department including at their most recent benefit fish fry and auction on Saturday night, May 17, 2014.

According to Crandall Fire Department Chief Allen Cousins, more than 560 people attended the benefit fish fry and auction and approximately $46,000 dollars was raised which includes a $10,000 check from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

After first hearing about the Cuban donation on CBS 11, contacted Chief Cousins who said, “Yes, it's true. I sent Mark an email about our situation.” And much to his surprise, “two days later, I received a check from him for $10,000,” said Cousins.

Not only did Cuban donate to the department, but 97.1 FM and The Russ Martin show did too. Their donations included: a guitar signed by Megadeth, Device, and Slash; tickets to BFD 2014, Queen, Linkin Park, KISS and Def Leppard, and Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden; autographed collector's edition of Guild Wars 2; drumhead signed by Stone Sour; two Yu Darvish bobbleheads; an autographed copy of Artie Lang's autobiography Crash and Burn; and Rocksmith for Xbox 360.

Chief Cousins gave a "big thank you" to Cuban, Martin, the Crandall community, Crandall ISD for their use of the high school, and their auction's top bidder, Gary Hawes of Crandall, Texas.

Although the department still has one fraudulent loan at Crandall's American National Bank for $75,000, the Crandall City Council voted to approve the purchase of a new replacement city engine from City of Crandall funds. The engine is expected to be delivered in September and, until then, the department immediately requests mutual aid on any structure fires in their district.

The investigation continues into the department's former treasurer, secretary, and chaplain Denny Mackey who was arrested last year for abuse of official capacity which is a 2nd degree felony.

Mackey has yet to be indicted on the charge but according to a probable cause affidavit and arrest warrant, Mackey allegedly obtained the fraudulent loans siphoned from them by making personal checks payable to his personal business, paying himself inflated administration fees, using a Crandall Volunteer Fire Department debit card for personal purchases, and making ATM cash withdrawals.
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