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Letter: 'Double Dipping' Public Employees Hurting Illinois

Aug 10, 2016 03:24PM ● Published by Steven Jack

Over the past few months I have read about double dipping. What is double dipping? Some say collecting more than one taxpayer funded pension. Others have said retiring with a taxpayer funded pension then getting another taxpayer funded job. In my opinion both are double dipping. 

You see in the private sector when you retire from a trade you cannot work in that trade without possible forfeiture of your pension. So Teamsters are not to drive for another company, electricians, parts handlers etc. No double dipping. But in the public sector it is a whole different story. 

Now Sheriff Baird hired a retired police chief to become his undersheriff. He is collecting a pension and his wages, which are over $200,000 per year. So I filled a FOIA request on the organizational chart for the department for the last few years. 

And the thing that was impressive is that Sheriff Baird also downsized his management staff by 2.5 employees. Resulting in a cost savings to the taxpayers. I also looked at our Fire District Chief, who retired from Naperville, collecting near the $75,000 range in pension and 2015 wages of $131,000, so he too is a member of the $200,000 plus club.

Keep in mind that the salary numbers do not include benefits and incentive bonuses or stipends. I did FOIA the organizational charts for past years from the Fire District. And as usual in many cases with the district, the response was not fulfilled because (no documents exists to support this request). 

They did have this year’s organizational chart, but none from previous years. Now I can tell you that the Fire District has been busy creating and making many new management positions over the past few years in leaps and bounds.  In my opinion, many management positions are usually not filled by knowledge, but by friendships. Also known as Pal promotions. It runs rampant in all public sectors. It’s who you know.

Now back to the question is this legal. Yes, it is until lawmakers make changes in the pension laws to stop this type of practice, but since many of them are double and even triple dippers why would they change this to protect the taxpayers. 

Funny how the private sector governs to protect pension plans that are far less lucrative than the public sectors nowadays. And the taxpayer funded pension plan is an open market for friends of the program. So now you want to know why Illinois is in the state it is in?

So back to the topic of did the Sheriff do anything wrong. No he played within the rules, and did reduce management staff since taking office. Our Fire District is another story. So the best synopsis would be, both men every 5 years makes $1 million on the backs of taxpayers. 

Pat Stiles, Montgomery

 

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