Former Cecil police chief charged with taking more than $10,000 from department

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A former Cecil police chief was arrested today by state police, who said he used a debit card to take more than $10,000 from his department, sometimes to gamble, according to a criminal complaint.

The former chief, John T. Pushak, 64, told state police he "mismanaged" funds tagged for drug investigations and police equipment that had been given to the department by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, according to the criminal complaint.

He told state police he spent some of the department's money at the Meadows Racetrack and Casino when his personal credit and debit card limit was reached, the complaint states. Mr. Pushak made 31 ATM withdraws, state police said.

He returned cash equivalent to the amount taken, state police said.

Mr. Pushak faces two felony theft charges and a misdemeanor count of misapplication of entrusted property and property of government or financial institutions, according to court documents.

He retired April 1, 2013. Andrew Schrader, chairman of Cecil's board of supervisors, declined comment. Mr. Pushak's attorney could not be reached.

Lexi Belculfine: or 412-263-1878. Twitter: @LexiBelc.

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