A former Healdsburg youth soccer league president who embezzled $58,312 from the organization was sentenced Wednesday to nine months in jail and ordered to begin serving his time immediately.
Kyle Hoffman, 38, was hoping to get off with probation under a plea bargain that required him to pay back about half of the money up front.
But when he appeared in court wearing a pin-striped suit and offered a check for $12,200, prosecutors asked that he be placed in custody right away.
Judge Ken Gnoss agreed, reminding Hoffman that he had nearly bankrupted a group dedicated to children and stole "hard-earned money" from parents.
"I don't feel Mr. Hoffman has lived up to his side of the bargain," Gnoss said before the disgraced official was placed in handcuffs and led away by deputies.
Earlier, Hoffman made an emotional plea to Gnoss to allow him to remain free so he could keep his job in order to make restitution while supporting his wife and two children.
He apologized for the theft, saying, "I make no excuses for my actions."
"I betrayed the community that trusted me," Hoffman said.
Parents with the league looked on from the audience. They said they were satisfied with the outcome, but were sorry to see someone who had been so close to them wind up behind bars.
"The judge did the right thing in that people have to know it's not OK," said former board member Lisa Wittke Schaffner. "But we do feel for his family," Schaffner, who is a former City Councilmember, said.
League president Mitzi Giron said the league of 250 kids was able to begin its regular season Aug. 1 despite the loss. She said donations and fund-raising made up some of the difference.
Giron called Hoffman's check for $12,200 "a good start."
Hoffman pleaded to three felony counts of grand theft for writing more than 70 unauthorized checks on the league's accounts between January 2008 and June 2010 when he was president.
The checks ranged from $60 to $3,180 and appeared to be used to cover personal expenses.
Chief District Attorney Bill Brockley told Gnoss Wednesday that during a two month period Hoffman dined at restaurants almost daily. He bought things online and spent money in bars, including a $113 tab at John and Zeke's in Healdsburg, Brockley said.
"He just kept taking and taking," Brockley said.
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