David Smith, the former mayor of Bridgeport, has been sentenced to 3-and-a-half years behind bars for stealing more than $24,000 from the village.

Before learning his sentence, Smith offered an apology to his family, his friends, and the Village of Bridgeport.

In July, he pled guilty to theft in office and conflict of interest.

The Ohio State Auditor’s Office said he removed cash payments and corresponding traffic tickets waiting to be processed from June 2016 through November of 2019.

Smith has since resigned.

Judge John Vavra said Smith is barred from holding public office ever again and that he also caused harm to the village’s former secretary who was not involved in any of his crimes.

Defense attorney Steve Stickles asked Vavra to impose a community control sanction instead of a prison sentence. On the first charge, Smith will serve 36 months in the penitentiary. On the second charge, he will serve six months behind bars.

The court has a status hearing at the end of August to determine the final restitution cost. Smith also told the court he plans to file an appeal.