Former Sandwell Council leader Bill Thomas today admitted a charge of theft as he appeared in court.
Magistrates were told three cheques worth a total of £1,300 had been paid out from a NatWest bank account belonging to the 69-year-old to close friend Gareth Hall between April 21 and 24 last year .
Thomas later reported to the bank that he did not know Hall and the cash was reimbursed, but following his arrest Thomas admitted to police he had known Hall for six years.
The Labour councillor and former headteacher, who was arrested last month and resigned immediately as council leader, had originally vowed to fight the charges before pleading guilty today.
He was handed a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay back the £1,300 in compensation and costs of £145.
The court was also told Thomas, of Viking Rise, Rowley Regis, was stepping down from his role as councillor for the Rowley ward.