By City News Service
A former Arcadia police officer who allegedly charged more than $50,000 for personal items on a police association's credit card pleaded not guilty today to a felony count of grand theft by embezzlement.
Christian Eric Blesch, 36, surrendered in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom in connection with the charge, which was filed Sept. 24, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
Blesch, who was elected treasurer of the Arcadia Police Officer Association in January 2011, allegedly used the association's credit card to buy parts and accessories for his personal motorcycles and other items such as clothing, exercise equipment, shaving accessories and cigars.
According to the criminal complaint, the money was taken between Jan. 1, 2011, and March 14 of this year.
Blesch -- who resigned from the police department last month -- allegedly paid the monthly credit card bills through the association's checking account.
He is due back in court Nov. 8, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require him to stand trial.
The ex-officer faces up to three years behind bars if convicted of the charge, according to the District Attorney's Office.