ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Former Roanoke County Police Officer Steven William McChesney, Jr. is facing two to 10 years behind bars after pleading “no contest” Wednesday to a felony charge of obtaining money by false pretenses.
Per that two-page agreement, the prosecution is not recommending jail time, but instead, a suspended sentence of 18 months supervised probation and five years of good behavior, meaning if McChesney gets another charge within those five years, he could face jail time.
The two additional charges he was facing were dropped in exchange for that “no contest” plea, which in this case is the same thing as a “guilty” plea. Because he pleaded “no contest” there will not be a jury trial. The attorney for the prosecution Bethany Harrison said by taking this plea he can never be an officer again.
The 34-year-old former officer forged hours equaling the sum of $12,124.72, which he paid back in full two weeks after he was charged.
From July 2017 to June 2019, Roanoke County Police reported he was falsifying time cards while working the midnight shift. According to findings from the investigation, 24 time sheets had discrepancies, including one time sheet where there were hours for five days he did not work, even though the time sheet claimed that he did. During the investigation, officers found that McChesney claimed to work days he had scheduled off. He also claimed overtime hours on some of those days. Investigators found that during those hours he was claiming, he was not signed in to take calls from dispatch.
When first accused of embezzling time, McChesney told officers that he had “no malice intent,” but he knew had made some mistakes when completing his time sheets. The prosecution said he cited family issues and an ongoing divorce as the reasoning behind his confusion and misjudgment.
The prosecution stated that McChesney worked for the Roanoke County Police Department for more than five years and even trained other officers on how to fill out time cards.
Because the case is being held in Roanoke County, some officials involved in the case originally recused themselves, including a general district judge. The Commonwealth Attorney Bethany Harrison, was brought in from Lynchburg. Charlie Dorsey, the judge during the plea hearing, did not feel he needed to separate himself from the case, stating that he did not remember interacting with McChesney in any capacity.
McChesney’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 11.
View the plea agreement below:
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