A former Leola police chief who embezzled about $37,500 from the town's fire department has been sent to prison.
John R. Grabowska, 43, was sentenced to four years in prison and given credit for 81 days served on each count. The prison terms will be served concurrently. He previously pleaded guilty in McPherson County to two counts of grand theft by embezzlement.
The guilty pleas also amounted to probation violations stemming from a 2012 case in which he pleaded guilty to grand theft. In that instance, Grabowska, as police chief, took about $3,200 in a case involving the arrest of a McPherson County man accused of growing marijuana. Instead of reporting the money as evidence, Grabowska kept it for himself. That money has since been recovered.
For breaking probation rules, Grabowska was sentenced to two years in prison and given credit for 60 days served. That term will be served concurrently with the others.
Between 2006 and 2012, he embezzled roughly $37,500 from the fire department. He was the McPherson County town's police chief at the time and had been hired to keep the fire department's books. Authorities have said he used the money to make personal purchases. He must repay the stolen money.
Each count of grand theft is a felony punishable by as much as 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.