Three days after being re-elected, Illinois state Rep. LaShawn Ford was sentenced to six months' probation for shortchanging the Internal Revenue Service of $3,782.
Friday's sentencing in federal court in Chicago comes after prosecutors agreed to let Ford plead guilty to a lone misdemeanor tax charge. In return, they're dropping nearly 20 felony bank-fraud charges that could have landed Ford in prison for decades.
Ford must pay restitution and a $1,000 fine.
Prosecutors never explained publicly why they chose not to pursue the more serious charges against the 42-year-old Chicago Democrat. But that issue could come up at Friday's hearing.
Presiding over Ford's case is Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer, who oversaw the 2006 corruption trial of former Republican Gov. George Ryan. A jury in the same courthouse convicted Democrat Rod Blagojevich of corruption in 2011.
Ford was indicted on November 29, 2012, charged by the federal government with 17 counts of bank fraud. He maintained he was innocent of all charges.