Follow CBSDFW.COM: Facebook | Twitter

NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS)A Dallas County grand jury has charged Farmers Branch Mayor ProTem Jeff Fuller with theft.

The indictment accuses Fuller of stealing between $500 and $1500 from the Parks and Recreation Department in March of 2014.

The city’s longtime Mayor Bob Phelps said, “To me, it’s a sad situation for something like this to happen. Jeff’s such a good guy and he’s been a longtime employee and he’s been on council for three years now. He’s done a lot of good in our city.”

Before serving on the city council, Fuller served as the city’s parks and recreation director for 23 years.
The city built a rose garden in Fuller’s name.

Phelps says the charge against Fuller involved gift cards that one of the city’s vendors regularly sends the parks and rec department as an incentive to make purchases.

According to Phelps, the city discovered a discrepancy last year, investigated, and turned its case over to the district attorney’s office six months ago. Because Fuller is a public official, the charge is considered enhanced and classified as a state jail felony.

Resident David Dawley says the news is disappointing. “This is a very small tight knit community. It’s very personal. It would bring a lot of sadness and dismay.”

Fuller hasn’t returned my calls and his attorney, Toby Shook, declined comment. Fuller sent the city council an email saying he will be stepping down next month.

Fuller will now have to turn himself in so he can be booked on the charges. If convicted, he faces between 180 days and two years in state prison.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)