Mario Cortolezzis had once worked hard to begin an organization raising awareness about autism and Alzheimer's disease, even getting Carver County sheriff's deputies to become supporters.

He raised funds to help the cause, but he also was helping himself to roughly $60,000 from the group, paying for many of his personal costs, from tanning to his mortgage, court papers say.

On Friday, Cortolezzis, 37, of Waconia, was sentenced by a Dakota County judge to 60 days in jail and ordered to pay nearly $43,000 in restitution, most of which Cortolezzis paid the day before court, Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said. Backstrom said he appreciated that so much was repaid.

Earlier, Cortolezzi had paid $15,473.

He pleaded guilty Friday to four felony counts of theft. Four other theft-by-swindle charges were dismissed.

Between 2008 and 2010, court papers say, he stole from SAFER (Search and Find Emergency Responders), a nonprofit serving autistic and Alzheimer patients in Carver County.

Several members of the Carver County Sheriff's Office serve in a private capacity as members of the SAFER board of directors, so Dakota County handled the case to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest, Backstrom's office said.