Aurora 10th Ward Alderman Lynne Johnson is resisting calls for her resignation by city Mayor Tom Weisner.
The mayor called for the alderman's "immediate resignation" after he learned of her August 2013 arrest for retail theft. The alderman was arrested for stealing about $87 of groceries at a Meijer store in her ward as well as some $64 of health and beauty products.
Johnson remains adamant about remaining in her post, despite a meeting with the mayor, city Chief of Staff Carrie Anne Ergo and 9th Ward Ald. Edward Bugg, the latter of whom attended the sit-down at her request.
"I am alderman in the 10th Ward. I have been effective. I am doing this to the best of my ability, and will continue to do so," Johnson said. "If my residents want me to step down, I would honor that. If the mayor wants me to resign, I can't do that, because the residents elected me."
Johnson, who was elected in April 2013, pleaded guilty in September 2013 for stealing the items and was ordered to pay a fine and put under supervision. She represented herself in the case.
"It was a total misunderstanding," Johnson told the Aurora Beacon-News. "I said I don't want to plead guilty, but I will pay a fine."
The mayor learned of the situation after a package was "dropped off" to his office anonymously. His staff confirmed the validity of the documents and then offered Johnson the opportunity to resign before the information was made public and the City Council informed of the issue.
"Not only did Alderman Johnson steal from a taxpayer in her own ward, she concealed her crime from her constituents and the City Council for more than 19 months," said Weisner. "This was not a personal crime without a victim. Her actions have broken the public trust and disgraced the city of Aurora. Based on her deceitful and untrustworthy behavior, there is no doubt in my mind that she can no longer effectively serve the residents and businesses of the city of Aurora ..."
Johnson's term is up in 2017.