NAPERVILLE, IL - Dozens of former elected officials in the Chicago suburbs surrounding are collectively receiving tens of thousands of dollars a year in pension benefits, even though they mostly worked part time.
Besides the question of whether the part-time work deserves such benefits, critics say the payouts are an unfair burden on local taxpayers. Some say they also demonstrate a failure of the state's pension reform plan to go far enough in easing a crisis that has left Illinois mired in debt.
"Only in Illinois would part-time public service come with a lifetime pension," said Adam Andrzejewski, founder of Openthebooks.com, a government finance transparency website based in Elmhurst. "These instances are why the state Legislature's recent pension reform didn't go far enough. All these outrageous 'one off' examples add millions to property and sales taxes."
The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald used an open records request to find that 42 former suburban officials who worked mostly part time will collectively receive more than $200,000 this year in retirement benefits.