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Valley News Dispatch

Mother of suspended Leechburg police chief speaks out about visitation battle

| Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, 8:15 a.m.
Karen Diebold, mother of former Leechburg police Chief Mike Diebold.
Karen Diebold, mother of former Leechburg police Chief Mike Diebold.
Former Leechburg police Chief Mike Diebold
Former Leechburg police Chief Mike Diebold

The mother of suspended Leechburg police Chief Mike Diebold said Monday she is seeking visitation rights with her grandson but would never take him to visit his father in prison.

“It’s ridiculous,” Karen Diebold said. “Children are not allowed to set foot in prison.”

Mike Diebold is in Westmoreland County Prison awaiting trial on charges he solicited sex from an undercover agent posing as a teenager. Children younger than 18 are allowed to visit an inmate if accompanied by immediate family, according to the prison website.

A court hearing scheduled for Dec. 3 has been canceled, according to Diebold’s attorney Duke George and county records.

A status conference will be scheduled sometime in early December, George said.

Karen Diebold is seeking partial custody or visitation rights of her son’s 18-month-old son with estranged wife, Danielle Reinke.

Reinke said last week she believes Karen Diebold wants visitation rights with the couple’s son so she can take him to visit his father. Reinke said she is furious over a claim filed by her husband seeking alimony and spousal support. She said she is financially strapped and a GoFundMe account set up for her husband’s medical needs after a June 2017 accident has been frozen. The account contains about $50,000.

When asked about the GoFundMe account, Karen Diebold said her son has “good intentions for that money,” but wouldn’t elaborate further.

“The courts will decide what to do with that fund,” she said.

Karen Diebold said her son currently pays all bills, including the mortgage, insurance, taxes and health care.

“I’ll help him. He’s my son, and I love him,” Karen Diebold said when asked what would happen if her son was unable to continue paying his health care.

“She (Danielle) has trashed him in a way that is unfair,” Diebold said of Reinke.

Karen Diebold said all she really wants is the ability to visit with her grandson, with whom she has a close relationship. She said she has not seen her grandson since the end of July, which she attributed to a strained relationship with Reinke.

“We don’t speak at all,” Karen Diebold said of her daughter-in-law.

Joyce Hanz is a freelance writer.

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