ST. LOUIS -- A former St. Clair fire chief on Thursday was sentenced to nearly three years in prison for stealing more than $593,000 from his district.
Eric Hinson, former chief of the St. Clair Fire Protection District, pleaded guilty in February to one federal count of mail fraud and five counts of tax evasion.
Hinson stole the money from the district in Franklin County from January 2006 through September 2011, and filed false tax returns from 2006 to 2010. He still owes $132,383 in taxes, according to officials.
According to court documents, Hinson used the district credit cards to pay for family vacations to Hawaii and Florida. He also paid for personal items such as sporting goods and other items, limousine rentals, tickets to Six Flags, Big Surf Water Park and other entertainment expenses
He became fire chief in the St. Louis County town of Ladue in July 2011, working both jobs until resigning in September 2011 due to the investigation. He is not accused of wrongdoing in Ladue.