Officer pleads guilty to pocketing $26,709.02 from 'Shop With A Cop'
By Cleveland 19 Digital Team| October 26, 2016 at 4:18 PM EST - Updated July 24 at 1:07 PM
AKRON, OH (WOIO)
A Richfield police officer pleaded guilty to felony theft for pocketing $26,709.02 raised for the department's "Shop With A Cop" program.
Michael Simmons, 42, of Stow, was charged with grand theft.
Simmons oversaw the department’s “Shop With A Cop” program since its inception in 2003. In January of 2016, Richfield’s Chief of Police notified the Ohio Attorney General’s Office after he became aware of unauthorized financial transactions with the program. Agents with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation discovered a total of $26,709.02 was missing from the “Shop With A Cop” account.
Investigators say Simmons used the money to buy several items including tickets to sporting events, electronics, clothing, tools, and gift cards for his personal use.
The “Shop With A Cop” program helps financially disadvantaged families by taking children on a shopping trip with law enforcement each holiday season.
Simmons has been with the department for 17 years. His sentencing, which could include prison time, is set for Dec. 1 at 9 a.m.