Authorities: Ohio officer stole over $26K from Shop with a Cop charity program

RICHFIELD, Ohio (AP) – Authorities say a northeast Ohio police officer stole more than $26,000 from a charity fund that provides money to buy Christmas gifts for financially disadvantaged children.

Ohio’s attorney general says Richfield police officer Michael Simmons was charged Monday in Akron with theft in office. Authorities allege Simmons improperly spent $26,709 from the Richfield Police Department’s Shop with a Cop program on personal expenses from 2010 to 2016. Investigators say those expenses included sporting event tickets, electronics, clothing and tools.

Simmons is on unpaid leave. There was no answer to calls Tuesday to his Stow home. Court records don’t list an attorney for him.

Simmons coordinated the program that funds shopping trips for children with police officers. The state investigation began in January at the request of Richfield’s police chief.

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