Northeast Ohio ex-police chief charged with fraud

CLEVELAND (AP) – Authorities say a former police chief has been charged with defrauding a northeast Ohio village out of $80,000.

Fifty-seven-year-old Gerald Smith, Jr. was charged in federal court Friday with single counts of mail fraud and destruction, alteration or falsification of records in a federal investigation.

Smith had served as the Kirtland Hills police chief from 1988 until April of this year when he resigned.

Authorities say Smith used village credit cards on about $80,000 worth of personal expenditures since 2007. They allege Smith used village funds to pay for furnishings in his Florida condominium, items on a hunting trip, a pair of women’s boots and other items.

Smith’s attorney Michael Hennenberg says Smith paid full restitution to the village when he resigned and has accepted full responsibility for his conduct.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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