ALEXANDRIA (WJON News) -- A former central Minnesota police chief has pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor.

Alexandria officials say former chief Rick Wyffels has entered a guilty plea to an amended charge of gross misdemeanor misconduct of a public officer or employee after initially facing a felony theft by swindle charge.

The plea comes after a year-long investigation by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension into alleged financial crimes.

Wyffels served the city of Alexandria from 1987 to 2020 and held the position of chief of police from November 2006 to September 2020. About four weeks after he retired the city became aware of unaccounted for expenses and purchases.

Wyffels has been ordered to pay restitution of $65,000 to the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust, serve 120 days in jail with 116 days stayed for one year under specific conditions, and pay fines and surcharges. Because of local conflicts, the Stearns County Attorney's Office prosecuted the case.

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Alexandria Mayor Bobbie Osterberg says that since 2020 the city has implemented new policies and procedures for all purchasing and credit card usage.

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