The former CEO of Republic Windows and Doors today turned down an offer from Cook County prosecutors to plead guilty to charges he looted the company in the months before its North Side plant was abruptly shuttered in 2008.
The development means that Richard Gillman, 60, who is charged with stealing more than $10 million, will likely go to trial.
Republic Windows became a national symbol in late 2008 after some of the 200 union workers who lost their jobs in the abrupt plant closing peacefully refused to leave for several days, demanding wages they’d earned.
In September 2009 prosecutors charged Gillman and alleged the plant closing was all part of a monthslong plot to loot the business, steal key manufacturing equipment from the Goose Island factory and set up a new operation in Iowa.
The plea deal offered by county prosecutors called for him to be sentenced to 4 years in prison and fined $100,000 in return for his guilty plea. He could have ended up serving about half that time in prison.
“He doesn’t reject it, he just doesn’t accept it,” Gillman’s attorney, Edward Genson, told Judge Domenica Stephenson.
The judge noted that not accepting a guilty plea is the same as rejecting it. She reiterated that the offer was better than what Gillman might face – 6 to 30 years in prison -- if he goes to trial and is convicted.
“The state is offering you something lesser than if you were convicted of the Class X (felony),” Stephenson said.
She set the next hearing date for next week.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun