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Webster fire chief accused of lying on criminal background application

WEBSTER, Texas – Webster's fire chief Patrick Shipp confirmed he was suspended with pay pending the results of an investigation by a city attorney.

The allegations against Shipp are numerous, including that he did not represent his criminal background truthfully on his original job application. 

Shipp has held his position since 2008.

Channel 2 Investigates independently confirmed that Shipp had previously been found guilty of felony theft. He did no jail time and received deferred adjudication in 1998 for a change that involved stolen air conditioners.

Shipp also was found guilty of misdemeanor DWI in 1987 and public intoxication in 1989.

Both charges were misdemeanors.

"I don't know why I wouldn't put it on there because we do background checks," Shipp said by phone.

The wide-ranging investigation does not appear to include an outside law enforcement agency.

Instead, Webster's city attorney law firm, Gregg & Gregg, is heading up the probe.

Friday, Shipp's attorney said that her client was being railroaded by Webster's mayor.

Neither Mayor Donna Rogers nor the Webster City Attorney's Office returned calls Friday.

Webster Assistant Fire Chief Todd Weidman was also placed on administrative leave but has since resigned.

Weidman is currently the fire chief in LaMarque.

Also Friday, Channel 2 Investigates has learned city manager Wayne Sabo retired.

Sabo was not among those being investigated, according to a source with knowledge of the proceedings.