Will County Board member Herbert Brooks' daughter pleaded guilty to stealing from the Target store where she worked as a cashier.
As part of the deal, Special Prosecutor Dave Neal dropped the felony charge filed against 23-year-old Megan Brooks of Joliet and replaced it with a misdemeanor.
If Megan Brooks pays back the full $1,291 she stole from the 2701 Plainfield Road Target, Neal said he will recommend she get off with a sentence of court supervision and 200 hours of community service. If she fails to come up with the money by her sentencing on March 5, Brooks faces up to a year in the Will County jail.
Neal said Megan Brooks was prepared to pay as much as $600 Monday but that he does not want her on an installment plan. Neal said he prefers Target get all its money back at once.
Megan Brooks siphoned the money out of the Target cash registers over the course of three months starting in December 2011. She charged up a Target cash card made out in her own name by returning merchandise she had not bought, Neal said, then withdrew the money from the card.
Herbert Brooks, D-Joliet, who is also the pastor of St. John Missionary Baptist Church, accompanied his daughter to court for her guilty plea Monday. A member of the county board since 2008, Brooks was elected board speaker in December.
Megan Brooks is the third child of a county board member to be arrested and tried by a special prosecutor in recent years.
Alex Wilhelmi, the son of Steve Wilhelmi, D-Joliet, was arrested in July after allegedly whipping a man in the street with his belt. The alleged attack was the culmination of a road rage incident in which two of Wilhelmi's friends were also arrested.
Special Prosecutor Neal dropped the case against Wilhelmi, 21. His two friends, Manuel Borrego, 24, and Daniel Duffy, 23, got court supervision after pleading guilty.
In July 2010, Matthew Moustis, the 19-year-old son of County Board member Jim Moustis, R-Frankfort, was arrested and jailed for allegedly stabbing a Mokena teen in the chest. The Mokena teen, Brandon Lauer, who is now 21, told police Moustis attacked and stabbed him over a girl.
Charles Colburn, a colleague of Neal's from the Special Prosecution Unit of the Illinois State's Attorney Appellate Prosecutor's Office, dropped the charge against Matthew Moustis in December 2010. Colburn moved to dismiss the case after a grand jury declined to indict Matthew Moustis.
After Megan Brooks pleaed guilty Monday, Neal explained that he agreed to reduce the charge in light of her clean record the fact that all the video surveilance evidence compiled by Target security staff would have led to a lengthy, complicated trial.
Neal said the case would pose "a bit of a complex presentation to a jury."
"This involved many hours of video surveillance of the defendant by Target security," he said.
Neal also said he wanted to ensure that Target was paid back all the money that was stolen.