A former La Habra police officer, who misrepresented himself as an active duty cop on medical leave when he was given a volunteer treasurer position with a nonprofit police football charity he would go on to steal $60,000 from, cut a plea deal that should have him spending a year in jail and making restitution.
Kirk Robert Lotzgesell, 44, of Winchester, was looking at the possibility of three years in the can if he fought the charges and lost.
Lotzgesell left the La Habra force in January of 2006, but that's not what he told Orange County Cop Bowl Association officials the following year when volunteering for the charity, which since 1978 has raised more than $1 million through football games pitting teams of police officers and firefighters against one another.
He would accept a position that had him in control of all the charity's financial accounts and be responsible for bookkeeping and check writing. But, over the next two years, he stole more than $60,000 by writing checks to himself, withdrawing money from the nonprofit's ATM account and spending the money on himself.
The Internal Revenue Service contacted Cop Bowl officials wondering why tax returns had not been filed. That prompted an examination of the charity's books and Lotzgesell being exposed as a thief. Brea cops popped him.
Lotzgesell copped to one felony count of grand theft Tuesday. He will learn his sentence Jan. 25 at the North Justice Center in Fullerton.
In other sticky-fingered first responder news, Orange County Fire Authority firefighter Gregory Mark Konishi, 49, of Rancho Santa Margarita, has been charged with stealing $40 from the wallet of a fire captain in his Irvine fire station.
The captain, who noticed money missing from his wallet periodically, set up a surveillance camera in his room at the station. Konishi was recorded sneaking in and stealing $20 from the skipper's wallet on Sept. 28 and again on Oct. 22, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.
Konishi, who s charged with two misdemeanor counts of burglary and faces a sentence ranging from probation up to two years in jail if convicted, has a Dec. 27 arraignment date at Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach.