Former police chief accused of stealing money turns himself in to magistrate

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PITTSBURGH —

The former Cecil Township police chief accused of stealing department money and spending it at the casino turned himself in to the magistrate Tuesday.
              
The accusations come at the end of a great career, according to John Pushak’s lawyer.
 
“Here we have a gentleman who has spent approximately 40 years in law enforcement, unblemished record and he served our country in the military,” said attorney Tom Brown.
 
Police said Pushak made 31 transactions, withdrawing more than $10,000 from a special account that was only to be used for drug investigations or purchasing equipment.
 
Police said many of the transactions came from inside the Meadows Casino, where police said Pushak admitted to spending the money.
 
Police said Pushak has returned all of the money.
 
“It’s unfortunate we are here.  He’s a good man.  He’s a good man,” said Brown.
 
Tax payers are torn about the charges. 
 
“He’s an official.  He has to be honest,” said Penny Cousins.
 
“It’s a waste of taxpayer money to prosecute him if he paid it back,” said another resident.
 
Pushak was released after his hearing Tuesday.    He faces theft and misapplication of entrusted government property charges.