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Ill. lawmaker gets community service in gun case

Published: Thursday, April 25, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
Caption
(AP file photo)
Veteran Illinois state Sen. Donne Trotter is seen Dec. 15 in South Holland. Trotter pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor Wednesday after being accused last year of trying to board a flight with a gun. Trotter's attorney said he entered a guilty plea to reckless conduct in a plea deal, which the judge approved.

CHICAGO – An Illinois state senator accused of trying to board a Washington, D.C.-bound flight with a gun pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor Wednesday and was sentenced to community service.

A judge sentenced Donne Trotter to 60 hours of community service and a year of court supervision for the one count of reckless conduct. The Chicago Democrat also was ordered to pay $190 in fines and costs.

As part of the plea deal, Cook County prosecutors dropped the felony charge of seeking to board an aircraft with a weapon. A felony conviction could have cost the 63-year-old his Senate job and pension.

"He is very relieved," Trotter's attorney, Thomas Durkin, said in a phone interview later Wednesday. He called the resolution of the matter "both fair and appropriate."

Security screeners stopped Trotter at O'Hare International Airport Dec. 5 when they detected the .25-caliber gun. Trotter said he had worked a part-time security job and forgot the weapon was in a garment bag.

Judge Charles Burns told Trotter Wednesday his community service should be spent talking about gun safety, said Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for the Cook County State's Attorney's Office.

Before the incident, Trotter was a front-runner in the race to replace ex-U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. after he resigned. But Trotter withdrew, saying he didn't want the gun charge to be a distraction.

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