Fred Bathon, who pleaded guilty to a federal felony charge of rigging the late property tax auctions he oversaw as Madison County treasurer, has lost his paid job as Madison city police pension board clerk, while his status as the Pontoon Beach police pension board treasurer remains uncertain.
Bathon, 58, was fired from the Madison police pension board on Tuesday "due to his plea to a federal felony charge," said Sgt. Dennis Pinero, the pension board president.
The pension board had met Saturday to discuss firing Bathon, or four days after Bathon pleaded guilty to a single charge in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis to conspiring to restrain interstate commerce. Bathon faces at least 30 months in prison, though that sentence could be reduced based upon his level of cooperation with federal investigators.
Bathon earned $5,100 per year from the Madison police pension fund, whose board he had served on for 32 years. In that capacity, he wrote checks from pension fund accounts, according to Pinero.
The state Insurance Department audited Madison pension fund records from 2008 to 2010, "and there were no problems that were major," Pinero said. "Nothing to make an alarm."
Patrolman James Autrey, the president of the Pontoon Beach police pension board, declined to comment on Bathon's status with the board.