A Port Bolivar woman was indicted Wednesday on charges of stealing more than $20,000 from the volunteer fire department where she served as treasurer in 2013.

Betty Jean Jewell, 64, was arrested Thursday and charged with theft of property of more than $20,000 and less than $100,000, according to the grand jury indictment.

Jewell is accused of taking the money on Jan. 1, 2013, while she was the treasurer of the Port Bolivar Fire Department, according to the indictment.

The charge is normally a third-degree felony, but is enhanced because Jewell was a public servant at the time of the alleged theft, according to the indictment. 

The indictment offers no other details of Jewell's alleged crimes.

Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset declined to release more details on Friday, saying he needed to consult with his investigators before releasing information about the case.

News of the investigation involving Jewell first surfaced in 2018, when the governing board of Galveston County Emergency Services District No. 2, which partially funds the fire department, discussed allegations of "misappropriated funds" at the fire department.

Jewell was arrested in Port Bolivar, an unincorporated community on the west end of Bolivar Peninsula, about 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, according to police records.

Her bond was set at $200,000, according to the indictment. She was no longer in custody at the Galveston County Jail as of Friday afternoon, according to jail records.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

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(3) comments

James Lippert

David Loop, former Asst Fire Chief from the Crystal Beach VFD sentenced to five years in prison in June for embezzlement. San Leon Asst Fire Chief Scotty Lyons currently under indictment for embezzlement, with an open investigation ongoing. Now the Port Bolivar VFD Treasurer under indictment for theft. Sad deal for our volunteer fire fighters who trust safety equipment will be purchased/provided to protect their health & very lives. Sad deal for us residents who depend on our local VFD's to protect our lives. Many thanks to the Galveston County DA's office for doing their job!

Bailey Jones

It's nice to know that there's extra punishment for betraying a public trust.

James Lippert

Breading News - Yesterday it was reported in the Eagle Point Press that long time Bacliff VFD Chief James Wistinghsausen was suspended from the Bacliff VFD.

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