Former West Seneca baseball league president receives jail time

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Kevin Chodkowski holds his crying wife after hearing the sentence – 90 days in jail, served intermittently.  Chodkowski will be spending every weekend in the holding center for the next three months.

Chodkowski pleaded guilty to third degree attempted grand larceny for embezzling nearly $50,000 from the West Seneca youth baseball league, where he served as the president.

“I apologize to the court, my family and my friends,” said Chodkowski. “It’s been very very difficult and I apologize for what I’ve done.”

“I assume that apology extends to the baseball league, right?” asked Judge Tom Franczyk after hearing the apology.

“Yes, to the whole community,” replied Chodkowski.

His attorney Dom Saracino says it’s an act that’ll haunt him for the rest of his life.

“He’s paid a tremendous amount already in the sense that’s he’s been publicly humiliated,” said Dominic Saraceno, Chodkowski’s defense attorney.

Chodkowski was serving as the league’s president as they were launching a campaign for new fields for the players. After three years, they began discovering the money was going missing.

“Not only were they hurt from a fundraising standpoint but also from a reputation standpoint which is very difficult to recover from,” Christopher Jurusik, an Erie County Assistant District Attorney within the special investigations bureau.

It was discovered the former league president was using the money to feed a gambling addiction.

“I hope it will force him to never relapse into his gambling addiction,” said Saraceno. “He’ll be thinking ‘I don’t ever want to go back to that holding center for another weekend or straight time.'”

Chodkowski will spend weekends in jail for the next three months, allowing him to work Monday through Friday. Judge Franczyk said it was difficult deciding a sentence for Chodkowski, 46, who is the main provider for his wife and their children.

Chodkowski and his attorney were hopeful for a sentence that didn’t include anytime behind bars

“Punishment is not a deterrent to crime,” said Saraceno. “I think judges, it’s their role to not only deter crime but also to punish for crimes committed so they lock up people for sake of community.”

“We’re not out to ruin anybody’s lives but we do want them held accountable for their actions,” said Juruski.

Chodkowski will report to the holding center on Friday afternoon to begin serving his sentence. He is expected to report every weekend through the end of May.

His attorney says they will not be filing an appeal.

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