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Former Leola Police Chief Admits Embezzling

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LEOLA, S.D. (AP) – The former police chief in Leola has admitted embezzling more than $37,000 from the fire department in the northeastern South Dakota town.

The American News reports that 43-year-old John Grabowska pleaded guilty to two counts of grand theft by embezzlement and faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced in January.

Grabowska also has violated terms of his probation for a separate grand theft conviction earlier this year. Authorities say Grabowska kept about $3,200 in money seized from a drug suspect.

Grabowska took the fire department money between 2006 and 2012 while he handled the department’s finances.

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Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Material may not be redistributed.

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