Click HERE to view the Appellee’s Brief in the In Re: Pension Reform Litigation.
Governor Rauner’s proposed budget is $31.5 billion as opposed to this year’s budget of $35.6 billion. The budge proposed shifting all state workers into a defined contribution plan or shifting all state workers into a lower defined benefit Tier-2 plan. The proposed shift does not apply to police or firefighters.
Chicago Tribune – Budget ‘Last, Best Chance to Get Our House In Order’
On February 4, 2015 the First District Appellate Court issued its Opinion in Baldermann, et al. v. The Board of Trustees of the Police Pension Fund of the Village of Chicago Ridge. The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s order that granted the Pension Board’s motion for summary judgment. The plaintiffs, Baldermann and Kapelinski, were the Chief and Deputy Chief of the Chicago Ridge Police Department. Baldermann applied for a disability pension by submitting his disability application to the Pension Board. The Pension Board granted Baldermann’s application for a disability pension on the same day Baldermann submitted his application. Kapelinksi applied for a retirement pension and subsequently began receiving his retirement pension even though the Pension Board never voted to approve the application or Kapelinski’s pension amount. The case presented a host of irregularities regarding the payment of both pensions. Ultimately the Pension Board’s new trustees (Kapelinski and Baldermann had been on the Pension Board) initiated an investigation to determine whether both pensions were inflated due to a 20 percent salary increase that Baldermann and Kapelinski received on their last days of service. The municipality had a “buy out” agreement with Baldermann and Kapelinski that provided for the salary increase on the last day in service. The Pension Board attempted to hold a hearing to determine the appropriate salary attached to rank for pension purposes and the plaintiffs’ filed for a temporary restraining order. After discovery, the parties filed cross motions for summary judgment. The trial court concluded that the Pension Board did not lack jurisdiction to hold a hearing to determine salary attached to rank because the Pension Board had never rendered a final administrative decision. The appellate court agreed. Notably, the appellate court held that the Howe case applied and required that the Pension Board take an affirmative vote to approve a written decision awarding a pension and setting forth the pension amount. Absent the approved written decision, the Pension Board did not trigger the 35 day administrative review law time period and still had jurisdiction to hold a hearing pursuant to section 3-144.2 of the Pension Code.
Chicago Tribune – Appeals Court: Board Erred On Baldermann’s Pension
PGM attorney Jeff Goodloe handled this matter for the Pension Board in the appellate court.