A 64-year-old Hilo man has been granted a deferred sentence for illegally receiving food stamps from the state Department of Human Services.
James George Borden pleaded no contest July 9 to third-degree theft, a misdemeanor.
He was found guilty by Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn Hara and sentenced to a year probation with 30 days in jail, with credit for time served and the remaining jail time stayed if Borden complies with terms and conditions of his probation, which include 50 hours of community service in a manner approved by his probation officer.
In exchange for his plea, prosecutors reduced the charge from second-degree theft, a Class C felony, which is theft of more than $300 and less than $20,000.
The deferral means the conviction will be expunged from the record if Borden stays out of trouble with the law for a year.
Borden also will not be allowed to apply for welfare or food stamps for a year, according to court records, although the record states the restriction is because of DHS rules and not probationary terms.
Borden has been the subject of numerous letters to the editor in recent years for signs he has posted from the back of his pickup truck in a Kinoole Street parking space next to Lincoln Park in downtown Hilo.