The former public works director for Portugal Cove-St. Philip's has pleaded guilty to a crime, but will likely avoid jail time.

Barry Smith, 54, had originally been charged with defrauding the town of more than $10,000.

Barry Smith

Barry Smith is scheduled to be sentenced in December for a breach of trust. (CBC)

At provincial court in St. John's, the Crown dropped the fraud charge against Smith, who pleaded guilty to a charge of breach of trust.

The court was told that Smith put personal expenses on a town credit card.

Smith has repaid the money and told the court that he is sorry.

Court was told that he used the money to help his ex-wife when they were splitting up last year. He said he did not want his children to think he was abandoning their mother.

The Crown is arguing that Smith should receive six months of house arrest, as well as a year of probation for the breach of trust.

The defence is asking for a suspended sentence and six months of probation.

Smith is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 4.