Former Alexandria police chief ordered to pay $65K after siphoning money from city

A former police chief for Alexandria pleaded guilty and was sentenced after an investigation uncovered a series of unaccounted-for purchases during his time with the city.

Richard Wyffels was sentenced to 120 days in jail, with 116 days stayed for a year under specific conditions, the city announced Tuesday.

Those conditions include a $65,000 restitution payment to the League of MN Cities Insurance Trust within five days of sentencing in addition to maintaining a clean record for a year, according to a release from the City of Alexandria.

Court records show that Wyffels was initially charged with one count of felony theft by swindle, which was later amended to gross misdemeanor misconduct of a police officer.

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The release from the city says that four weeks after Wyffels’ retirement, city officials reached out to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) after they became aware of unaccounted-for purchases.

The BCA launched an investigation, which led to Wyffels’ arrest. Wyffels was police chief from November 2006 to September 2020.

“Although the city of Alexandria was subjected to an egregious abuse of power during Mr. Wyffels’ time of employment, our community can move on from this experience with honor and dignity. Alexandria is strong. We learn from experiences, and we grow together,” Alexandria Mayor Bobbie Osterberg said in a prepared statement.

Osterberg added that the city has added new policies and procedures for credit card usage since 2022.

The case was prosecuted by the Stearns County Attorney’s Office due to local conflicts of interest.