Challenge to York City Mayor Michael Helfrich's ability to serve moves forward

Town warily awaits release of police chief after sex plea


LEECHBURG, Pa. – A western Pennsylvania town is preparing for the release from prison of its suspended police chief, who pleaded guilty to soliciting sex from what he thought was a 14-year-old girl.

Some residents in Leechburg are uneasy about suspended Chief Michael Diebold’s release next month.

Diebold was arrested in January in a law enforcement sting. He pleaded guilty and was served nine months, the time he spent in jail awaiting trial.

Residents tell the Tribune-Review they feel the sentence was too lenient. They feel betrayed because the town raised more than $17,000 for Diebold and his family after he lost part of an arm in a fireworks accident.

Councilman Chuck Pascal tells the newspaper the town will try to handle Diebold’s return as it would any other person on parole.