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posted: 5/26/2012 4:47 PM

Senate targets former Oak Brook chief's pension

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  • Sen. Kirk Dillard

      Sen. Kirk Dillard

 
 

SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Senate has approved legislation that would strike down a pension-sweetening law that boosted former Oak Brook police chief Thomas Sheahan's pension and left the town with a $750,000 debt as a result.

The legislation from state Sen. Kirk Dillard, a Hinsdale Republican, would repeal the pension booster, which he says was created just for Sheahan and largely hidden from view.

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"It was written for one person and buried in a law," Dillard said.

But Dillard's plan would take Sheahan's pension boost away.

Sheahan collects a pension worth about $77,000 thanks to the plan, which allowed him to shift around credit from service in previous government jobs in order to raise his benefits, according to reports. So he was eligible to collect a pension based on 24 years of service instead of 19, raising his pension benefit levels.

Previously, he would have been eligible for $45,000 a year.

But the Senate's vote to approve Dillard's plan sends the legislation to the House, where it could be debated next week.

"This is the kind of stuff that makes people crazy," Dillard said.

Lawmakers are at the same time trying to craft more widespread pension reforms to try to save the state billions of dollars in its rising retirement costs.

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