Jeffery McAdams, a former president of the Gainesville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge, was sentenced to three years in prison and 10 years probation today for stealing money from the union.
The former Gainesville police officer and 2006 candidate for Alachua County sheriff was arrested in 2015 for reportedly stealing more than $56,000 from the union between 2011 and April 2014.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigators believed McAdams stole by double billing for travel and spending money at restaurants and bars and on gift cards.
“I am deeply embarrassed and acknowledge that I’ve made mistakes and want to humbly apologize,” McAdams, who faced a felony charge of second-degree grand theft, said at today’s sentencing.
McAdams called five witnesses, who vouched for his work ethic and dedication to the lodge.
While the state recommended a two-year sentence, Judge Willard Pope of the Fifth Judicial Court of Florida chose three.
Pope has a sign that says “Don’t talk, just rule” on his bench, but today, he told McAdams today, “It is obvious that you were involved in the community much greater than most people, but that does not excuse what you did.”
McAdams was a Gainesville Police Department officer from 1993 until he retired from the department in October 2015. His retirement came a year after GPD suspended him when concerns arose over spending with the lodge’s debit card, which only McAdams controlled.
He was the Gainesville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge president for 14 years.
Because McAdams previously pled no contest, he did not admit or deny the allegations against him. The plea also meant he gave up his right to be represented by an attorney during sentencing or to appeal the sentencing decision.
Florida statues allow McAdams to keep his pension because he retired prior to his arrest.