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Suspended Leechburg police Chief Diebold to be released a day earlier than expected | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Suspended Leechburg police Chief Diebold to be released a day earlier than expected

Rich Cholodofsky
| Sunday, December 16, 2018 1:36 a.m

Suspended Leechburg police Chief Michael Diebold will be released from jail Jan. 27.

Diebold, 41, pleaded guilty last week to lesser charges for soliciting sex from an undercover state agent posing as a 14-year-old girl. Under terms of a deal with prosecutors, he was sentenced to serve nine to 23 months in jail plus an additional three years on probation.

Westmoreland County Common Pleas Judge Meagan Bilik-DeFazio said in court that Diebold will be paroled once he serves the minimum portion of the jail sentence, which includes time he has spent behind bars prior to his guilty plea. He is not eligible to earn an early release for good behavior, the judge said.

Prison Warden John Walton said officials calculated that Diebold will reach his minimum sentence one day earlier than originally suggested in court by defense attorney Duke George.

No additional hearing will be needed before Diebold is released.

“We have paperwork signed by the judge saying he will be paroled at his minimum,” Walton said. In cases where judges don’t specifically order a parole date, inmates must petition for release and are subject to approval from the district attorney and the sentencing judge, according to the warden.

It is expected Diebold will be freed sometime after 10 on the morning of his scheduled release.

He’ll leave the jail with only his clothes and other property he came into the jail with in May, when he was rearrested for violating terms of his bail for having contact with his infant son.

“If he has no transportation, we will try to get him a bus ticket,” Walton said.

While in jail, Diebold will continue to stay in protected custody, meaning he has little contact with other inmates. It’s a classification that is routine for former law enforcement officials sent to the prison, according to Walton.

Since his incarceration, Diebold has had no disciplinary findings and has remained a model inmate.

“We haven’t had any issues with him,” Walton said.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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