AllenclaudeAfter breaking down in a Maryland courthouse Friday, former White House adviser Claude A. Allen pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor theft.

You may remember, Allen was caught stealing $850 of merchandise from Target.

Blaming sleep deprivation and stress, his wife said that Hurricane Katrina was one of the stressful issues that Allen was grappling with last fall that caused him to go into Target and begin stealing.

"Stealing is not something that I ever thought that I would ever do, and I did," Allen said. "I accept full responsibility for my actions and what I did. I am intensely, immensely sorry for that and very remorseful for the harm that I’ve caused so many. Something did go very wrong. I lost perspective and failed to restrain myself."      

Rather than sentencing Allen to jail, the judge imposed “probation before judgment” — a disposition available to first offenders in which the judge acknowledges the guilty plea but keeps it off the defendant’s criminal record. If Allen completes his two years of supervised probation satisfactorily, his record could be expunged.      

Allen has been ordered to reimburse $850 to Target, pay a $500 fine and perform 40 hours of community service.