PEKIN — A prominent community advocate and former candidate for the Washington Community High School board was sentenced last week in Tazewell County Court to a year of court supervision after pleading guilty to retail theft.
April Crotts, 37, of Washington, was arrested Jan. 11 at Costco at 301 W. Washington St. in East Peoria and accused by police and store security of stealing $227.89 worth of women's clothing and shoes, and hair care and body care products.
Crotts will not be convicted of the retail theft charge if she complies during her court supervision period with conditions set by Judge Tim Cusack.
She was required to plead guilty to receive court supervision and must pay $554 in fines and court costs.
Crotts was one of three candidates for three open seats on the Washington high school board at the time of her arrest and employed as a deputy elections clerk in the office of Tazewell County Clerk John Ackerman.
She dropped out of the school board race and lost her job after her arrest.
Her last day working in Ackerman's office was Jan. 15. Like all new employees in his office, Ackerman said, Crotts was on probation for a year. Crotts was hired Dec. 1.
Crotts became well known in Washington following the 2013 tornado that ravaged the city for her advocacy for tornado victims.
She tackled other community causes and was a frequent speaker at government and public meetings before her arrest.
Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.