Former Maywood official pleads guilty to theft, misconduct

The former head of the Maywood Housing Authority pleaded guilty to theft and official misconduct today and was sentenced to six years in prison, according to the Illinois Attorney General's office.

In a press release, Attorney General Lisa Madigan said that Gwendolyn Robinson, 51, of Elmhurst, had entered the guilty plea after being indicted in 2011 for stealing more than $400,000 from the authority while serving as its executive director from May 2006 to November 2009.

Robinson was sentenced to six years on the theft count and four years on the misconduct count; the sentences will be served concurrently, according to the release.

The release said that Robinson took the money from housing vouchers intended to help low-income renters pay their rent and, after funneling the money into a hidden account, used it to pay the mortgage on her home. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development had resulted in the indictment.

"Officials who steal public funds betray the trust that is granted to them," Madigan said in the release. "Ms. Robinson's scheme to enrich herself not only cheated the families who rely on these public resources to secure safe, affordable housing but also the taxpayers who fund these critical programs."