CANTON, Ohio — Former Lawrence Twp. Police Chief Paul Stanley pleaded guilty this morning to a 4th degree felony charge of theft in office.
Stanley admits stealing more than $23,800 between May 2013 and April 2015.
The money was taken from a police department trust fund.
Following the plea, his attorney, Jeffrey Jakmides, told FOX 8 that Stanley has paid back the entire amount that was taken as restitution.
Jakmides says the decision to withdraw a not guilty plea on a 3rd degree felony charge was made by Stanley himself but he agreed with him that it was the proper thing to do.
A special prosecutor said she was pleased that Stanley took responsibility for his actions.
Stanley was fired in September 2016 amidst the accusations.
He then filed a civil lawsuit against township trustees to get his job back.
That lawsuit was later dismissed.
Trustee Lester Kamph was in court for Wednesday’s plea and afterwards told FOX 8 he was glad the case is over and the township can move forward.
He said there are no sour grapes between trustees and Stanley but is disappointed because Stanley was someone they trusted and he still lives in the township.
Stanley will be sentenced in September. He could get a sentence of between 6 and 18 months in prison.