* The Tribune on yesterday’s Supreme Court pension ruling…
The city’s top attorney, Corporation Counsel Stephen Patton, had tried to squeeze the city through a loophole. He contended that the [pension] funds themselves, and not the city, were solely responsible for paying out benefits to retirees.
But Justice Theis considered the argument — benefits would be severely diminished if the funds went broke — and concluded that scenario “would lead to an absurd and unjust result.”
“The General Assembly and the city have been on notice since the ratification of the 1970 constitution that the benefits of the membership must be paid in full, and that they must be paid without diminishing or impairing them,” she wrote.
Clint Krislov, who represented the retired workers that sued, called that part of the court opinion “perhaps the most significant.”
That “eliminates the city’s threat that we’ll just let the funds go bankrupt, and you’ll be stuck with a claim on a fund that has no money. This makes it clear that the city is going to be on the hook to make sure that these pensions are paid,” Krislov said.
* More from the Sun-Times…
“The city was essentially threatening and saying, ‘If you don’t go along with this, we’re going to walk away from the funds.’ The city can’t do that now. This puts a dagger in that argument,” Krislov said.