A former Aurora police officer pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft Tuesday even though he stole more than $9,000 from a police union, officials said.
Joseph D. Accardi, 36, of the 2500 block of High Meadow Road, Naperville, was sentenced to 12 months probation, 200 hours of community service, and resigned from his job after stealing from the Association of Professional Police Officers over a three-year span, according to Kane County court records and prosecutors.
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Accardi was placed on administrative leave in September 2013 and resigned from the department Feb. 16, prosecutors said.
Aurora Police Chief Greg Thomas said Accardi's actions tarnished the reputation of law enforcement and his department notified the Illinois State Police as soon as the allegations came to light.
"When a police officer is charged with breaking the laws he or she has taken a solemn oath to uphold and protect, it is a betrayal of the community's trust and something that cannot be tolerated," Thomas said in an email.
The state police investigated and determined that from May 2010 to May 2013, Accardi obtained "unauthorized control" over $9,019 from the Association of Professional Police Officers, prosecutors said.
As part of Accardi's guilty plea, which was accepted by Judge Elizabeth Flood, he repaid the money and must stay out of trouble or risk resentencing of up to a year in jail.
Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said prosecutors were pleased with the outcome of the case, given that Accardi repaid the money, resigned from his post and did not have a previous criminal record.
"Mr. Accardi engaged in criminal conduct, and in the process he compromised his personal and professional integrity," McMahon said. "His actions were his alone, however, and certainly not reflective of the fine work that takes place daily at the Aurora Police Department."