EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — Former Evansville Parks and Recreation Director Brian Holtz walked out of Vanderburgh County Superior Court with a misdemeanor conviction. A judge sentenced him to twelve months’ probation.

Holtz pled guilty to forgery, official misconduct and counterfeiting following an investigation in unauthorized purchases.

Defense attorney Mark Foster says he and Holtz are happy with the judge’s decision.

“This has been a long ordeal to Brian. We’ve been working on this for two years, and, on behalf of Brian, he’s glad it’s over with,” Foster said. “And, again, we did avoid a trial by admitting to those acts we admitted to.”

Holtz was not accused of pocketing any money.

He was accused of borrowing money and spending money on the city’s behalf that he did not have the permission to do.

Special prosecutor Stan Levco argued for a harsher sentence.

He called the former city controller to testify at the sentencing. The former controller says Holtz’s actions broke the trust with the city, and it cost the city lost time and money checking the documents that were forged.

“I thought what he did was aggravated enough that he should’ve gotten a felony,” Levco said. “The judge didn’t agree with me — that was certainly in the bounds of what our agreement was — that it would be one or the other.”

Meanwhile the court recognized that the prosecutors could not prove Holtz personally gained from any of his action.

After the sentencing, Holtz was met with tears of joy and hugs from many people in court.

Foster tells Eyewitness News that he suspects Holtz will not enter public service again.

“He’s proud of his time at the parks department, and, again, he is remorseful for the acts that got him here,” Foster said. “We are glad that this chapter is over with.”