(KMOV.com) – Former Police Chief in Edwardsville, James Bedell, pleads guilty to four counts of embezzlement and theft from the City of Edwardsville for the calendar years 2009 to 2012, Wednesday.
Each offense carries a statutory maximum sentence of up to ten years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000. The 58-year-old is set to be sentenced August 2.
“I am disgusted and saddened when called upon to prosecute someone who had sworn to uphold the law, said United States Attorney Stephen Wigginton. “Far and away, most police officers are above reproach. They are the constant guardians of our very freedom. Unfortunately, individuals sometimes succumb to their greed, stealing from those they have vowed to protect and serve.”
Bedell admitted that from July of 2009 through September of 2012, he unlawfully removed cash and money orders from a lock-box in the police department that contained vehicle impound fees.
The City of Edwardsville charges a $300 fee for vehicles towed for violations. Bedell admitted as part of the plea that he converted some of the funds to his personal use, generally to support a gambling habit. The total loss is estimated to be approximately $138,000.
Bedell is contesting the calculation of the loss amount.