Former Illinois lawmaker pleads guilty in shoplifting case

GLEN ELLYN, Ill. (AP) — A former Illinois lawmaker arrested on a shoplifting charge has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor retail theft.

Former state Rep. Sandra Pihos of Glen Ellyn entered the plea Monday. Her sentence includes 50 hours of community service and a year of court supervision.

She released a statement afterward, however, saying her arrest last year was the result of a misunderstanding. She says she entered the plea to “put this awful matter behind me.”

Authorities say she stole nearly $600 in women’s clothes from Von Maur in Lombard’s Yorktown Shopping Center before trying to return the stolen items for cash or store credit on the same day.

The Republican served in the General Assembly from 2003 to 2015 and was on several committees, including one that focused on consumer protection.