- Associated Press - Friday, December 2, 2016

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - A northeast Ohio police officer accused of stealing over $26,000 from a charity fund used to buy Christmas gifts for financially disadvantaged children has been ordered to repay $15,000.

Investigators say now-fired Richfield officer Michael Simmons took funding from his department’s Shop with a Cop program over several years and used it for personal expenses, including electronics, clothing and sporting event tickets.

Simmons pleaded guilty to a felony theft charge. A Summit County judge put the 42-year-old Stow man on probation for two years.

Defense attorney Mark Guidetti tells the Akron Beacon Journal that Simmons wants to move on, find a new job and work to pay the restitution as agreed under a plea deal.

The local police union says the money will be distributed to charities that benefit children.

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