EASTON, Pa. -

He paid back the money and handed in his resignation. Now, former Mayor Carl Strye of Nazareth, Northampton County, has gotten the green light to enter a program for first-time offenders.

Strye, accused of stealing money from a social club, appeared at the Northampton County Courthouse in Easton with his attorney on Wednesday. He didn't have to say anything during the hearing before the judge granted his request.

Strye was charged last spring with theft for allegedly stealing $8,000 from the Vigilance Hose Company, a social club he oversaw as as president from 1987 to 2013.

The felony carried a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of $15,000.

At the time, he said he would not resign as the leader of Nazareth.

In August, the Northampton County district attorney's office reviewed Stry'e application for the county accelerated rehabilitation program, also known as ARD.

The conditions were that Strye would have to pay back the $8,000 and step down as mayor of Nazareth. Strye made restitution, and on September 6, he submitted his resignation letter to the borough council.

In the letter, he wrote, "I must say, I am sorry the borough got wrapped up in my issue."

There are several conditions Strye must follow while in the ARD program, including informing the program director if he plans to leave the state for more than 24 hours.

Once the program is completed, the charge will be cleared from Strye's record.