LEECHBURG (KDKA) — In a unanimous vote, Leechburg Council fired Police Chief Michael Diebold Tuesday night after he pleaded guilty to asking for sex from an undercover officer posing as a teenage girl.
Councilman Chuck Pascal summed up the reaction of the people in the borough: “They feel angry, and they feel betrayed, and justifiably so.”
The betrayal runs deep because the town had rallied behind the chief two years ago after he lost part of his arm in a fireworks accident.
A total of $50,000 was reportedly contributed to a GoFundMe page to help him.
His now-estranged wife spoke with KDKA earlier this year after his arrest.
“He didn’t just destroy his own life,” said Danielle Reinke. “He destroyed ours. He destroyed a lot of people in the community who came to bat for him.”
Diebold had already been suspended without pay, but officials say once Diebold pleaded guilty as part of a deal, he became ineligible legally to serve as chief.
He will still get the money he put into his police pension.
Because of time served, Diebold will likely be released in January, but will still be on probation for three years.