Parkhurst pushes for pension protection measure
Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) is urging the House to follow the Senate and approve a measure meant to strip survivor pension benefits from beneficiaries convicted of felonies related to their spouse’s service.
“Our pensions and survivor benefits are here to help those who lost a loved one,” Parkhurst, who co-sponsored the bill in the House. "This isn't a bank for those who commit crimes to freely withdraw.”
The impetus for Senate Bill 896 was the Charles Gliniewicz scandal, in which a Fox Lake police officer facing an investigation into his embezzlement of city funds killed himself in an attempt to cover up the crime. City officials believe that Gliniewicz’s wife, Melodie, was involved in his embezzlement scheme, and she is facing charges.
Under current law, if she were convicted she could still receive between 50 percent and 75 percent of his $96,000 per year salary through survivor pension benefits. Parkhurst said SB 896 will ensure that, if convicted, Melodie and similar offenders would not benefit from their actions.
“This bill will protect our pensions and survivor funds from those who abuse the system and ensure it's there for those who need it the most,” she said.
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