Despite it being her fourth guilty plea to retail theft charges since 2003, a former Aurora alderwoman was given the benefit of the county's Second Chance Probation diversion program Wednesday after admitting to shoplifting items from a Meijer store in 2016.
Lynne Johnson, 53, pleaded guilty to one count of felony burglary. If she successfully completes the two-year probation, no conviction will be entered.
As part of the probation, Johnson must complete 10 days in the Sheriff's Work Alternative Program in lieu of the mandatory 30 hours of community service. She must also submit to at least three random urine tests while on probation. Johnson must pay $1,012 in court costs.
Johnson, who was elected to serve Aurora's 10th Ward in 2013, declined to comment after entering her plea.
"I have so much I could tell you, but I can't right now," she said.
Johnson, of the 400 block of Plaza Place, originally was charged with misdemeanor retail theft after a plainclothes employee on Jan. 31, 2016, saw her take $55.21 worth of markers, pencils, party favors and ibuprofen by stuffing them in her purse, prosecutors said.
On Feb. 19, 2016, DuPage State's Attorney Robert Berlin's office upgraded the charges to felony burglary, saying Johnson entered the store with the intent to steal.
Assistant State's Attorney Sean Kinsella said Wednesday an employee at the Meijer on the 800 block of North Route 59 told police Johnson put the items in her purse before she paid for other goods. The employee confronted her outside the store and escorted her to the asset protection office.
Kinsella said Johnson told police "she wished she had paid for the items."
Johnson received supervision in August 2013 after pleading guilty to retail theft at the same Meijer. She also pleaded guilty to retail theft charges in 2003 in Bolingbrook and 2010 in Willowbrook.
Johnson was censured by the city council in 2015 and chose not to run for a second term in 2017.