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This just in… *** Ryan gets partial pension *** AG Madigan to appeal *** Quinn: Moratorium stays for now ***

Friday, Feb 6, 2009

* 2:16 pm - An Illinois appellate court has just ruled that former Gov. George Ryan can keep part of his pension.

The court held that since Ryan’s service in the Illinois General Assembly and as lt. governor had nothing to do with the criminal case against him, he could keep that portion of his pension.

The ruling overturns a lower court decision.

Read the opinion here. [Fixed link]

Ryan’s case, by the way, was argued by Kyle DeJong at Winston & Strawn. It was his first argument in any court. Not a bad way to start out, especially since the other side was represented by Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

*** 2:34 pm *** Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office just called to say the AG will file an appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court.

*** 2:50 pm *** Quinn says he supports capital punishment, but will keep the moratorium in place

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he has no immediate plans to lift the state’s moratorium on the death penalty.

The Democrat who last week replaced ousted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich says he supports capital punishment. But he says he worries innocent people have been sent to Illinois’ death row.

* New acting director

The Illinois Toll Highway Authority Board appointed today Michael King as its new acting executive director.

King has been the director of communications and marketing for the tollway for approximately the last three years. He replaces Dawn Catuara at the post after Catuara resigned effective today.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


21 Comments
  1. - Qwerty - Friday, Feb 6, 09 @ 2:20 pm:

    Getting a 404 on that link..


  2. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 6, 09 @ 2:22 pm:

    Fixed. Thanks.


  3. - Vote Quimby! - Friday, Feb 6, 09 @ 2:23 pm:

    W&S keeping the expensive people on the paying customers. I suppose the statute of limitations wipes out any chance of wrongdoing back that far…


  4. - BandCamp - Friday, Feb 6, 09 @ 2:30 pm:

    Good. Now letting him out is a non-issue since Laura can have some money.


  5. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 6, 09 @ 2:31 pm:

    It was the right decision to make. You don’t throw every year an individual earns a pension out the window, unless the felony they received impacted every year that individual earned that pension.


  6. - scoot - Friday, Feb 6, 09 @ 2:39 pm:

    I like the decision…he should be allowed his pension before SOS & Gov.


  7. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Friday, Feb 6, 09 @ 2:42 pm:

    I think it was the right decision. Let it go.


  8. - Bill - Friday, Feb 6, 09 @ 2:51 pm:

    Nice work, Kyle!


  9. - The Doc - Friday, Feb 6, 09 @ 2:58 pm:

    What a terrific message this ruling sends. Using this logic, Blago, if convicted, would be able to retain his IL pension from his days as a state representative. That’s outrageous.

    Felony convictions should result in complete forfeiture of pension benefits. Elected officials should be held to a higher standard, by virtue of them being elected officials.


  10. - True Observer - Friday, Feb 6, 09 @ 3:28 pm:

    Sen. Kerry: “I was for it before I was against it.”

    Gov. Quinn: “I am for it but not just now.”

    Hey, who can blame Quinn. When Durbin can go from strong pro-life to ultra pro-choice and still get elected by Illinois voters, why not.


  11. - Anon - Friday, Feb 6, 09 @ 3:41 pm:

    ==You don’t throw every year an individual earns a pension out the window, unless the felony they received impacted every year that individual earned that pension. ==

    Not saying it’s right, but yes, they can and do. I knew a man who was fired from a fortune 500 job and lost his pension entirely as the result of sexual harrassment charge. He was not young, either. Went to federal court and lost in the district court and on appeal because it was in his employment contract. If the rules of the game say you forfeit, you forfeit.

    On the other hand, Doc, if the rules don’t say you forfeit your pension, it isn’t sending any “terrible message” to let you keep what, according to the terms of your employment, you earned.


  12. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 6, 09 @ 3:48 pm:

    Glad to hear the moratorium will remain in place. Now if can just apply that logic to taxes, that is, no new taxes until we adequately reform the system in place.


  13. - The Doc - Friday, Feb 6, 09 @ 4:06 pm:

    Anon -

    You’re coomparing a sexual harassment claim againast a private sector employee to the misdeeds of George Ryan? C’mon.

    My point being that it shouldn’t be left to interpretation by the judiciary, as you suggest. The absence of any such law made it such that the IL appellate court set a precedent here. It should be a legislative consideration.


  14. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Feb 6, 09 @ 4:12 pm:

    Legally speaking it’s the right decision. I know Kyle a little bit. Nice to see a young lawyer get an opportunity like this and run with it. Doesn’t happen often at larger firms.


  15. - One of the 35 - Friday, Feb 6, 09 @ 4:24 pm:

    To put the events of the last few days in perspective, if my informal estimate is correct, Lura Lyn and George Ryan would get approximately $35k or $36k per year. (18 years x .0167 x $120k) That would be somewhat less than the pension “increase” Granburg might get for 2 weeks work at DNR.


  16. - Keep Smiling - Friday, Feb 6, 09 @ 4:31 pm:

    I’m really troubled by it, and maybe I’m off base. But the State was the employer. Why does it matter which position he was in when he committed his crimes? His crimes were against the State, not the Office of Governor, right? Somebody straighten me out here, because my blood pressure is really rising with the thought of more taxpayer dollars going to this guy.


  17. - Rich Miller - Friday, Feb 6, 09 @ 4:33 pm:

    Keep Smiling, it might help if you read the opinion. It’s fairly decent logic.


  18. - sal-says - Friday, Feb 6, 09 @ 4:36 pm:

    RE: Tollway
    “…director of communications and marketing for the tollway…”

    Must be runnin’ out of folks to ‘appoint’ or ‘ask’ to Executive Director, acting or not???


  19. - Keep Smiling - Friday, Feb 6, 09 @ 5:27 pm:

    Thanks Rich, didn’t notice the link.
    After several similar but not quite the same precedent cases, some with the opposite result, the decision on Ryan seems to hinge all on this:

    ==The phrase, “period of service in such office,” was drafted in the singular and, thus, limits the scope to a specific office held.==

    One could argue the interpretation and use of the word “such”, which is defined in MW Dictionary as “of the same class, type, or sort ” The code does not say “each” or “an” office.

    I’m glad Madigan’s filing an appeal, because I’m not convinced that the lack of an “s” was intended to protect the pensions of corrupt officials who happened to be elected in a variety of statewide offices as opposed to those who stayed only in one.


  20. - Dan S, a taxpaer, a voter and a Cubs Fan - Saturday, Feb 7, 09 @ 7:42 pm:

    Whatever, he’s still in jail and should stay there until the sentence is complete.


  21. - buddysmom - Sunday, Feb 8, 09 @ 8:27 am:

    Good. He worked for it, let him have it. Lisa, let it be.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
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