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People v. Boucher

OPINION FILED MAY 20, 1974.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, APPELLEE,

v.

PAUL BOUCHER, APPELLANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. George Dolezal, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE KLUCZYNSKI DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

On April 26, 1971, Paul Boucher, originally indicted for theft of property over $150 in the circuit court of Cook County, pleaded guilty to the crime of theft of property under $150 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1969, ch. 38, par. 16-1) and was sentenced to three years probation with a condition that he make restitution of $2800 to a local credit union. On August 29, 1971, defendant's probation was revoked and he was ordered incarcerated for one year in the county jail. The appellate court thereafter granted his motion for release on bond. The order revoking probation was affirmed (People v. Boucher, 10 Ill. App.3d 750), and we granted leave to appeal.

The facts herein are not in dispute. In 1970, defendant, who was the city manager of the village of Maywood, Illinois, secured a loan in the amount of $2500 from the Maywood Employees Credit Union and, in consideration thereof, pledged the title of a camper truck. Although the security agreement for this loan transaction stated that said title to this vehicle was unencumbered, there was in fact an outstanding lien of a New York bank in excess of $2000. Defendant was subsequently indicted by the Cook County grand jury for theft of property over $150, in that he knowingly obtained the funds with the intent to deprive the owner of the use and control thereof.

The record of the proceedings at which defendant pleaded guilty indicates that he sought a conference after which the charge was reduced and he was fully admonished by the trial court and his counsel of the effects of this plea. Pursuant to an agreement reached in the conference, the State recommended that defendant be sentenced to three years probation on the condition that he repay $2800 representing the face amount of the aforesaid loan and $300 interest. Defendant agreed to the terms of his probation in open court and stated that he would pay $200 a month for 14 months commencing May 15, 1971. The record establishes that the repayment period was selected to coincide with the probable termination of the proceedings involving the credit union's liquidation.

The court questioned defendant's ability to pay because he was unemployed. Defendant's counsel assured the court that payment would be made. The court warned defendant that should he fail to honor this condition, the court could sentence him to the county jail for a term of one year and fine him $1000. Four months later the State moved to revoke defendant's probation. It was established that he had made only one payment of $150 on May 15, 1971.

Defendant, who was represented by different counsel, testified at the revocation hearing that he was unsuccessful in his attempts to secure employment. His primary source of income was a welfare stipend of $256 a month, which he sent to his brother, who was caring for his three children. He also received $74 a week in unemployment compensation, but he was paying, in ...


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