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Report: Ex-labor chief's 1-day rehire nets $158,000 city pension


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If we could fix the easy stuff.


A retired Chicago labor leader secured a $158,000 public pension — roughly five times greater than what a typical retired public-service worker in the Windy City receives — after being rehired for just one day of active duty on the city payroll, local news reports said.

According to The Chicago Tribune, Dennis Gannon stands to collect approximately $5 million in city pension funds during his lifetime. He now draws the pension while working for a hedge fund, the Tribune reported.

The Republican leader of the state House, Tom Cross, said he will introduce a bill to repeal the 1991 law that allows the windfall. Senate President Dennis Cullerton, a Democrat, agreed the law seems flawed.

Gannon, former president of the Chicago Federation of Labor, was able to take a long leave from a city job to work for a union and then receive a city pension based on a high union salary. That arrangement is allowed under a state law signed by Gov. Jim Thompson on his last day in office in 1991, according to an investigation by the Tribune and WGN-TV.

---------- Post added October-26th-2011 at 08:59 AM ----------

SPRINGFIELD — — Two lobbyists with no prior teaching experience

2 teachers union lobbyists teach for a day to qualify for hefty pensions

State legislature opened a small window that they climbed through in 2007

October 22, 2011|By Ray Long and Jason Grotto, Tribune ReportersSPRINGFIELD — — Two lobbyists with no prior teaching experience were allowed to count their years as union employees toward a state teacher pension once they served a single day of subbing in 2007, a Tribune/WGN-TV investigation has found.

Steven Preckwinkle, the political director for the Illinois Federation of Teachers, and fellow union lobbyist David Piccioli were the only people who took advantage of a small window opened by lawmakers a few months earlier.

The legislation enabled union officials to get into the state teachers pension fund and count their previous years as union employees after quickly obtaining teaching certificates and working in a classroom. They just had to do it before the bill was signed into law.


---------- Post added October-26th-2011 at 09:03 AM ----------

At age 55, South Carolina state Sen. David Thomas began collecting a pension for his legislative service without leaving office.

Most workers must retire from their jobs before getting retirement benefits. But Thomas used a one-sentence law that he and his colleagues passed in 2002 to let legislators receive a

taxpayer-funded pension instead of a salary after serving for 30 years.

Thomas' $32,390 annual retirement benefit — paid for the rest of his life — is more than triple the $10,400 salary he gave up. His pension exceeds the salary because of another perk: Lawmakers voted to count their expenses in the salary used to calculate their pensions.

No other South Carolina state workers get those perks.

Since January 2005, Thomas, a Republican, has made $148,435 more than a legislative salary would have paid, his financial-disclosure records show. At least four other South Carolina lawmakers are getting pensions instead of salaries, netting an extra $292,000 since 2005, records show.


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Preckwinkle even signed a witness slip in support of the legislation during a House committee meeting, although the teachers union says he lobbied for a different provision in the same bill, not the perk for union officials such as himself.
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There has to be computer programs that can sort through the records and report stuff like this.

Those that edit the records should lose all benefits and go to jail.

This is straight theft of millions of dollars with a wink and a nod.

Creating a law to steal money should be forfeit as soon as found out as this is.

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