Doctors to examine ex-Rosemont cop charged in armed robberies
A Rosemont panel will pay for three doctors to evaluate a former cop who is seeking his pension while awaiting trial on armed robbery charges.
The public safety officers pension fund board voted Monday morning to hire Inspe Associates, a Chicago firm that coordinates medical legal case reviews, to find physicians to examine Edward Karas.
Claiming an undisclosed disability, Karas put in for his pension in November and stepped down from the force in December.
"It's very fair and impartial," Greg Nazuka, president of the pension fund board, said of the process. "We're not choosing the doctors ourselves." Nazuka, a deputy chief with the Rosemont Public Safety Department, is one of five members on the panel tasked with managing pension funds and granting awards.
Karas, 40, of Rosemont, was charged Sept. 13 in the armed robbery of gas stations in Norridge and Park Ridge. Authorities say he was the getaway driver for another man who held up the businesses. The 13-year veteran of the Rosemont force already was on suspension and about to face a termination hearing by a separate village panel when he applied for a pension.
Karas lists three other doctors on his pension disability application, though his stated disability is redacted in a Freedom of Information Act response from the village. Karas' attorney, Richard Blass, also hasn't disclosed the nature of Karas' condition.
While Blass wasn't at Monday's board meeting, a village attorney seeking to intervene in the proceedings was.
"(There's) an interest that we have in developing evidence and argument that Mr. Karas is not disabled," said attorney Matt Rose. "We have information that may not be available to this pension board and sources that we can develop to present that evidence. We also know that Mr. Karas is under indictment for a felony."
If Karas is convicted in the armed robberies, he could be ineligible for a pension. Under state law, there has to be a causal relationship between the felony and his duties as a police officer, Rose noted.
If awarded a pension, Karas would be entitled to half his $112,527 salary annually.
The board will take a formal vote on whether to allow the village to participate in the proceedings. The next board meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 25.