Illinois House Passes Bill That Would Take Pensions Away From Convicted Public Officials

Illinois capitol

The Illinois House passed a measure today that aims to prevent full pension benefits from being paid to public officials who have been convicted of felonies related to their public service.

It passed the House by an overwhelming 99-14 count.

More from the Chicago Tribune:

The Illinois House voted Wednesday to give the attorney general the ability to go to court to stop future cases in which a pension is being paid to a convicted public official even if a retirement board had approved payments.

The bill is inspired by disgraced former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge, who did not lose his $4,000-a-month pension despite costing the city tens of millions in legal costs because of police torture and abuse in the 1970s and 1980s. This measure would not affect Burge’s pension.


After his conviction, the police pension board deadlocked 4-4 on a motion to strip Burge of his pension. The key issue before the board was if Burge’s conviction was related to his police work. Four of the current or former Chicago police officers elected to the pension board by their fellow officers supported Burge, while four civilian trustees appointed by then-Mayor Richard Daley voted in opposition.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed suit to challenge the decision, but the Illinois Supreme Court ruled she did not have the standing to take up the matter.

The bill now heads to the Senate.