Will ex-Rolling Meadows teacher lose pension after guilty plea?

Teachers' Retirement System officials said Friday they will review whether a former Rolling Meadows High School teacher is eligible to keep his $76,354-a-year pension after he pleaded guilty last week to the sexual assault of a student 44 years ago in New Hampshire.

Arthur Peekel, 75, of Palatine, agreed to a plea deal May 12 in which his 12-month sentence was suspended, though he was ordered to pay a $1,200 fine and register as a sex offender for the next decade. He was an admissions officer at Phillips Exeter prep school in 1973 when prosecutors say he assaulted a 14-year-old prospective student.

Peekel was hired by Northwest Suburban High School District 214 in 1986 and taught social studies at Rolling Meadows until he retired in 2004. He was named the 1991-92 Illinois Teacher of the Year by the State Board of Education.

A state law prevents pension collection by anyone with a felony conviction related to time teaching. TRS spokesman Dave Urbanek said officials would review documents, but he declined additional comment.

• Daily Herald staff writer Jake Griffin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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