Thursday, July 03, 2014

Torture 200 People, Collect $3,000 a Month for Life


Per the Chicago Tribune:

In a split vote, the Illinois Supreme Court today upheld a Cook County judge's ruling that allows disgraced former Chicago police commander Jon Burge to keep receiving his pension despite his 2010 conviction for lying about the torture of suspects. At issue was whether Attorney General Lisa Madigan had the legal authority to challenge the administrative board's split decision that allowed Burge to keep his approximately $3,000-a-month pension. ... The key issue before the board [of directors of the Policemen's Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago] was if Burge's conviction was related to his police work. Four current or former Chicago police officers elected to the pension board by their fellow officers supported Burge, while four civilian trustees appointed by then-Mayor Richard Daley voted in opposition.

At least some of Burge's victims received settlements from the city of Chicago (read: The Chicago taxpayers who also paid Burge's salary) totaling at least $19.8 million (according to the Wikipedia article, as of 2008 some Cook County victim claims had not yet been settled).

So, the administrative board has ruled that Burge's conviction -- and therefore the actions for which he was convicted -- were not related to his police work.

It seems to me that this decision is a needle which pops the balloon of any "sovereign immunity" type defense he might have against a civil suit by the victims (to get additional compensation for their torture) or by the city government (to recover the money it shelled out in settlements). Either of which (or for that matter, the cost of litigating the suits) would, I strongly suspect, come to far more than the $360,000 in pension payments Burge can expect to collect if he survives to the average male lifespan in the United States, not to mention the value of his house, his 40-foot cabin cruiser and his 22-foot motorboat.

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