Former Edwardsville police chief James S. Bedell, 57, was sentenced today in federal court to 18 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, an order of restitution in the amount of $136,800, and a special assessment fee of $400.
The announcement was made in a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Illinois.
On April 17, Bedell pleaded guilty to four counts of embezzlement and theft from the City of Edwardsville.
Bedell was chief from 2007 through Oct. 5, 2012. As part of the plea, Bedell admitted that from July of 2009 through September of 2012, he unlawfully removed cash and money orders from a lockbox in the police department that contained vehicle impound fees.
The City of Edwardsville charges a $300 fee for vehicles towed as a result of certain enumerated violations, the release notes. The $300 administrative fee must be paid by cash or money order. Bedell admitted as part of the plea that he converted some of the funds to his personal use, generally to support a gambling habit.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Illinois State Police, with the assistance of the City of Edwardsville. The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman R. Smith.