A former Arcadia police officer pleaded no contest Friday to stealing nearly $42,000 from a police association while serving as treasurer, using the money to buy such items as cigars and motorcycle parts.
Christian E. Blesch, 36, pleaded no contest to one count of grand theft by embezzlement and was set to be sentenced Sept. 30, when he will be ordered to serve 180 days in county jail and placed on probation for three years.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Geoffrey Rendon said Blesch began stealing funds from the Arcadia Police Officers' Assn. after being elected its treasurer in 2011.
Blesch used the association's credit card to buy parts and accessories for his motorcycles, as well as personal items such as clothing, exercise equipment and cigars, the prosecutor said. He then paid the monthly credit card bills through the organization's checking account.
Blesch also put a deposit down on a new motorcycle, using association funds. He resigned from the Arcadia Police Department last fall, the same day a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Blesch and another Arcadia police officer were placed on administrative leave in March 2013 after allegations were made regarding the association's funds.
That officer, John Jurman, another association official, was never charged by prosecutors because they determined there was no evidence he committed a crime.
As part of the plea, Blesch has agreed to pay back the nearly $42,000 he embezzled.