Appellate court rules in attorney
general's suit to end pension of former Chicago police commander
Dismissal reversed, case remanded to
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[December 03, 2012]
CHICAGO -- Attorney General Lisa
Madigan applauded a ruling by the 1st District Appellate Court that
reversed a lower court's decision to dismiss her lawsuit seeking to
deny pension benefits to former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge.
"When he was convicted of lying about his knowledge of and participation in
torturing suspects, Jon Burge forfeited his right to a public pension. Taxpayers
should never be forced to foot the bill for a convicted public official,"
In issuing its ruling, the appellate court remanded the case back to Cook
County Circuit Court for it to proceed.
This is the latest development in the lawsuit Madigan filed in February 2011
against the Retirement Board of the Policemen's Annuity and Benefit Fund of
Chicago. The attorney general's suit contends the pension board unlawfully
allowed Burge to keep his pension of more than $3,000 per month despite felony
convictions for lying about his knowledge of and participation in torture and
abuse of suspects. The lawsuit is based on the Illinois Pension Code provision
prohibiting the payment of benefits to any person convicted of a felony related
to, arising out of or in connection with his service as a policeman.
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The attorney general contends Burge's obstruction of justice and
perjury convictions resulted in the forfeiture of his right to a
pension paid for by taxpayer dollars. Burge's criminal indictment
and felony convictions were based on statements he made in a 2003
civil case. In that case, Burge denied any knowledge of or
participation in the torture or physical abuse of suspects at Area
Two. The attorney general maintains that Burge's denials, which led
to his criminal convictions for perjury and obstruction of justice,
were directly related to his service as a police officer. As a
result, Madigan contends, Burge has forfeited his pension benefits.
Madigan's lawsuit seeks to revoke pension payments to Burge and to
order the former commander to pay back any benefits paid to him
since his sentencing.
[Text from file received from the office
Illinois Attorney General Lisa