"This is a simple case about a good cop gone bad," said Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan.
A former Chester County police detective once trusted with thousands of dollars of his colleagues money is now accused of stealing from his own force.
"He was respected, he was admired, he was trusted, unfortunately he used those qualities as a smokescreen to steal from his fellow police officers."
According to online court records, charges were filed this morning and a criminal complaint was filed against Gerald Pawling of Coatesville, Pa.
Pawling turned himself in this morning and Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Valocchi arraigned him on eight counts of forgery and 51 counts of theft. Pawling posted a bond signature on $200,000 to get out of custody, according to court records.
Pawling stole more than $46,000 over a three-to-four-year period, Hogan said.
Hogan said that Pawling was a respected and trusted officer who was living beyond his means and used his position in the union to swipe thousands.
Investigators say the 42-year-old former Coatesville Police officer stole thousands of dollars from his department while he helped manage the accounts of the Coatesville Police Athletic League and Coatesville Police Benevolent Association.
Pawling, who retired from the force in 2011, allegedly wrote a series of checks from the union and athletic league bank accounts. Police say he then deposited those checks to his bank account and the account he shares with his wife. Authorities said that his wife apparently was unaware of the thefts.
After Pawling retired, investigators say the police bank accounts were audited and other officers began managing the money for the athletic league and union. That’s when, police say, an officer noticed the large amounts of money deposited into the former officer’s accounts.
Police say they began investigating Pawling in April of this year and searched his home twice in July.
During those searches bank records, computers and other items were confiscated, according to search warrants obtained by NBC10.
Investigators also uncovered some of the lavish things that Pawling allegedly purchased including a pool and family room that included a large flat-screen television.