BROOKSVILLE — A former Hernando County sheriff's deputy accused of stealing thousands of dollars from a local Fraternal Order of Police bank account, plus money from a fund set up to help the family of deceased department captain, has pleaded no contest to the charges.
Michael Glatfelter, 52, was sentenced Thursday by Circuit Judge Stephen Toner to five years of probation and was ordered to pay back money to the fund. In addition, he was ordered to give up his law enforcement certification.
Glatfelter, a 24-year veteran with the Sheriff's Office, faced two felony counts of grand theft and one count of organized fraud for separate thefts of about $14,000 from the FOP and $1,041.61 from a fund set up for the family of Capt. Scott Bierwiler, who was killed in a crash while driving to work in 2009.
Authorities said the theft of FOP funds occurred while Glatfelter served as treasurer of Local 74 from 2006 to early 2010. The theft from the Bierwiler family fund occurred in November 2011.
The investigation into the thefts began in August 2013 after a tip. Investigators discovered that Glatfelter had altered records to cover up transactions from the FOP account, which he controlled using a credit card issued to him. In addition to withdrawing about $8,300 from automatic tellers, he made $5,700 in personal purchases at Walmart, Circuit City and other stores. Among the items allegedly purchased were chewing tobacco, vitamins and groceries.
During a Dec. 20 interview with investigators, Glatfelter admitted to making the fraudulent purchases and trying to make them look legitimate.
Assistant State Attorney Mark Simpson said he was satisfied with the deal, but that the case left "a bad taste" with many members of the FOP.
"They wondered how he would do such a thing to his (law enforcement) brothers," Simpson said.
Glatfelter joined the agency in 1989 and, according to the Sheriff's Office, had one minor written reprimand in 2008. He resigned shortly after the December interview.
The case against Glatfelter came at a time when the Sheriff's Office also was rattled by allegations of theft by another deputy. Sgt. Joseph Reid was accused of taking at least $2,784 from a fund used by the vice and narcotics unit for drug buys and expenses. In March, Reid pleaded no contest to criminal charges; he was sentenced to two years of probation and was forced to relinquish his law enforcement credentials.
Simpson said Glatfelter must still appear at a restitution hearing for the FOP theft, which will occur sometime next month.
Contact Logan Neill at [email protected] or (352) 848-1435.