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OK, but how do you draft the law?

Monday, Sep 16, 2019

* Tribune

Disgraced former Chicago Ald. Daniel Solis collects a nearly $95,000 annual city taxpayer-funded pension, despite his role as a central figure in an ongoing public corruption scandal at City Hall, records show. […]

Retired city workers can lose their pensions if they’re convicted of a felony crime connected to their municipal service. Solis’ retirement took effect on May 21, the day after he left office, records show.

Barring a criminal conviction, the former alderman could keep his taxpayer-funded pension for life. […]

The idea of Solis keeping his pension is “a painful pill for taxpayers to swallow,” said Alisa Kaplan, policy director of the Reform for Illinois watchdog group.

He hasn’t yet been charged with anything, let alone convicted, and he has been actively working with federal investigators. So, how, exactly, is the General Assembly supposed to write a viable bill that stops someone like Solis from receiving his constitutionally protected pension benefits? “No pensions for federal stool pigeons,” perhaps? Come to think of it, that might actually pass, so let’s not give them any ideas.

…Adding… Related…

* Political operative accused of plying Solis with Viagra, arranging massage parlor trips is slapped with $25K fine for unregistered lobbying

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - NotRich - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 10:05 am:

    word “on the street” in Chicago is that Solis will NEVER be charged, that is part of the deal since he wired up Burke for them.. The law should say “no pension for stop pigeons who bought Viagra with bribe money”..that should narrow the intent

  2. - NIU Grad - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 10:10 am:

    Why create a disincentive for cooperating with the Feds? lol

  3. - RNUG - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 10:13 am:

    == Barring a criminal conviction … ==

    That is the crux right there. The law as currently written allows / requires due process before the pension is forfeited. We probably don’t want to change that.

    Don’t want a (alleged) co-conspiritor to receive a government pension, then make forfeiture of the pension part of the deal to avoid criminal charges.

  4. - DougChicago - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 10:18 am:

    The feds can always make voluntary forfeiture of pension benefits a condition to a deal with them. Danny Boy and others would almost always still take the deal — lost pension better than a stay in the federal lockup (no matter how cushy you want to believe it to be). And if the prospective unindicted coconspirator won’t take the deal, leave it to the feds to decide how important he is and whether to go forward allowing the pig to keep his pension.

  5. - Ano - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 10:18 am:

    Not sure if the pension is the sole income here (SSI?) but the idea that the “public” can revoke a person’s retirement income is mob mentality stuff. Imagine confiscating someone’s SSI, 401k and IRA s, leaving them with no income. Draconian tactics and people depending on those income streams would be outraged. Yet public pension? Totally fair.

    Felon? Yeah. Not yet there yet for this guy. On the other hand for someone totally dependent on a public pension the public will pay their livelihood should they meet low income requirements anyway. Pay one way or another

  6. - Chicagonk - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 10:19 am:

    Taking away a pension is a big deal. The constitution forbids excessive fines for a reason.

  7. - correction - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    This comment is quite ridiculous, not to mention totally devoid of understanding the law. Reform Illinois is the legacy group of ICPR, the group founded by the late Senator Paul Simon. They used to do really great work and focus on making lasting change. Now they’re all about press pops and disseminating information that often lacks in fact.

  8. - Henry Francis - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 10:31 am:

    Draft a law that provides for a stand up guy who keeps his mouth shut and takes whatever comes, that guy’s family gets his pension. If the guy rats on others and walks, then no pension for anyone. Call it the Pentangeli-Hill Act.

  9. - Not a Billionaire - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 10:32 am:

    Isn’t this one of your long time complaints about the so called reform worse than the problem?

  10. - efudd - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 10:35 am:

    Do Something, Now.

    Typical knee-jerk from a society spoiled from instant gratification.
    Don’t have to think things through, that way.
    Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for my pudding and nap.

  11. - RNUG - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 10:47 am:

    == Taking away a pension is a big deal. The constitution forbids excessive fines for a reason. ==

    State law is not completely clear about losing a pension due to official misconduct.

    As to whether or not it is excessive, the George Ryan case is s good example of how the legal / judicial system looks at the issue. Even though the misconduct was primarily associated with his time at SOS, the court decided all of his State pension was forfeited. He was given a refund of all his contributions into the various systems.

    This was not necessarily in line with previous decisions that had allowed some convicted State employees to retain a part of their pension. Interestingly, in the 6-1 decision against Ryan, the only Justice to vote against stripping Ryan of his complete pension was Ann Burke, who cited the previous treatment of other convicted employees.

  12. - Just Me 2 - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 10:55 am:

    Here is what I think is fascinating: Legislators LOVE to file bills and get press pops all the time. Every week we see all sorts of bills that will never become law. Yet, when it comes to City Council corruption these same legislators are unusually quiet and they simply say nothing can be done.

  13. - DIstant watcher - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 10:56 am:

    Clearly, the state needs a Grace Commission of upstanding citizens, empowered to determine with legally binding finality who among us has been disgraced. /s

  14. - lake county democrat - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 11:00 am:

    Letting Solis and those like him keep their pension is a small price to pay for the corruption they bring to light. At least at present the FBI has a good track record in not wasting expensive pensions on trivial info.

  15. - Annonin' - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 11:01 am:

    Wonder if Ms Kaplan supports applying the same remedy in the private sector? Like GovJunk’s fund owning the poison plant or the slimeballs at his GA bank? Many think biz honchos establish a public obligation for honest services and should be included in all these round ups. As for Solis lets remember how long this has all take to dribble out and how unspectacular the published work product appears.

  16. - Arron shocked - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 11:02 am:

    Sad part is if he lives say 20 years once he moves to Naples, he would have collected over $2,000,000 with colas added, maybe closer to 3,000,000…maybe start thinking twice about who you keep re-electing and look at his or her recird/ performances….and not just party affiliation

  17. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 11:03 am:

    Amend the constitution:

    Pensions are a contract that shall not be diminished unless the enrolled cooperates in a federal investigation.

  18. - Al - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 11:06 am:

    The General Assembly hereby passes the Taxpayer Protection Pension whereby all pension benefits are denied to those nobody sent.

  19. - lakeside - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 11:08 am:

    Snitches get… their pensions reduced commensurate with the badness the stuff they did for which they’re getting immunity by virtue of the snitching.

    Rolls right off the tongue.

  20. - Wonder Girl - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 11:13 am:

    …I wonder if life-time Viagra pills and no-pension forfeiture was part of Randy Danny’s cooperating deal. Wonder where he’s living these days.

  21. - Thomas Paine - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 11:31 am:

    What is it with Daniel Biss and pensions?

  22. - Amalia - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 11:44 am:

    @ Thomas Paine, does Biss get one? Pension envy?

    Do people in prison get Social Security taken away from them? because a pension for most in government is like social security. that is missing in the minds of many. He cooperated. We may actually throw him a parade.

  23. - NoGifts - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 12:15 pm:

    Civil forfeiture - gains that might have been associated with a crime and no need for a conviction.

  24. - James - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 2:14 pm:

    Lake County Democrat at 11:00 nailed it–it’s a small price for the public to pay to expose and prosecute corruption. You can’t always get something for nothing.

    You want to live in your house with your family and enjoy a comfortable pension? Just wear this wire and do as we tell you. Or, we’ll find you a new home where you won’t need that pension.

  25. - OneMan - Monday, Sep 16, 19 @ 3:07 pm:

    How about a board that decided if you seem ‘hinky’ or not? No issues there.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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