From the Daily News:
City Councilman Ruben Wills turned down a no-jail plea deal on a 14-year-old petty larceny case, preferring to take his chances with a trial that could end with jail time.
Wills was charged in 1996 with damaging the walls and stealing track lights and a fan from a client of the home renovation company he then ran.
He admitted all of this to the police, sources say. Prosecutors originally agreed to drop charges of petty larceny, third-degree criminal trespass and fourth-degree criminal mischief.
In exchange, Wills agreed to pay $3,000 to the victim, but Wills paid only $500, and began repeatedly skipping court dates.
At one point, he was "involuntarily" returned to court by the NYPD, where he promised to settle his case.
He promptly missed several more court dates, and an arrest warrant was issued.
Yesterday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance offered a deal requiring that Wills admit to an unspecified misdemeanor, perform five days of community service and pay the long-overdue $2,500 restitution.
Wills refused to plead guilty to anything; an Aug. 17 trial date was set. If convicted, he faces up to a year in prison.