Leechburg police chief fired after pleading guilty to soliciting sex

Leechburg police chief fired

LEECHBURG, Pa. — Leechburg council members decided Tuesday night to fire the borough's police chief, Mike Diebold, after he pleaded guilty to soliciting sex from an undercover agent who was posing as a 14-year-old girl.

According to Channel 11's news exchange partners at TribLIVE, the firing is retroactive to Dec. 11, when he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine to 23 months in jail. He is eligible for parole in late January, but he also has to serve 25 years as a Meghan's law sex offender.

State law allows employers to fire police officers if convicted of a felony, Councilman Chuck Pascal said before the vote to fire Diebold, TribLIVE reported.

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"As a council, we are just happy this whole episode is now over and we can move on and reconstitute our police force at its full complement," Pascal told TribLIVE.

When if comes to Diebold’s pension, council leaders said the borough won’t have to pay the municipal share of it. He will only get his contributions.

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Investigators said Diebold was communicating with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl, soliciting her for sex and trying to meet her at a gas station. However, it was actually an undercover agent posing as the girl.

In addition to the jail sentence and having to register as a Meghan’s law sex offender, a judge ordered Diebold can’t have internet access, including social media, and can’t have any contact with minors, with the possible exception of his son -- a determination that will be made by the Armstrong County courts. He will also have to serve three years’ probation.