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Editorial: Support for suspended chief not endless |

Editorial: Support for suspended chief not endless


Sometimes there is only so much support a person can get.

Mike Diebold appears to have reached the bottom of that well.

When the Leechburg police chief lost part of his arm in a June 2017 fireworks accident, there was support. The community rallied, raising thousands of dollars. A GoFundMe account alone netted $50,000, and that doesn’t count the spaghetti dinners, T-shirt sales and other donations.

Diebold needed help, and the community responded with support.

Seven months later, things changed.

That’s when Diebold was arrested in a sting at the Lower Burrell Sheetz as the state attorney general’s agents snapped the trap on a child sex solicitation investigation. The undercover agent authorities say Diebold had arranged to meet for sex was posing as a 14-year-old girl.

Diebold is currently in jail awaiting trial.

That’s why the well that he is currently trying to revisit is curious, particularly in light of the filings.

A man who sits in jail, without rent to pay or food to buy, wants the court to order his wife to pay him, saying in court documents that it is for needs, living expenses and legal fees.

Well, his wife is surely aware of his legal fees. She has some of her own as she tries to speed up her divorce proceedings and says she continues to pay for Diebold’s health care. The GoFundMe account has been frozen since the arrest, although $15,000 was spent on his medical expenses.

Yet Diebold wants alimony and spousal support.

People are innocent until proven guilty. Accusations do need to be proven in court, and a jury or a judge needs to find them credible. No one is taking any of that presumption away from the suspended police chief.

But that doesn’t mean that a community cannot feel betrayed by the allegations that a legal authority was committing a crime. It definitely doesn’t mean that a wife and mother has to continue to stand by her man, especially when she has children who have to be supported and who aren’t being fed and clothed on the county’s dime.

Hopefully, the Armstrong County judge hearing the case will tell Diebold that well’s gone dry.

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