No pension for ex-cop caught videotaping women at tanning salon

News-DemocratOctober 9, 2013 

— Former police officer Michael Collins will not draw a pension from the Edwardsville Police Pension fund.

Collins pleaded guilty to a felony count of unauthorized video recording, after having been caught videotaping women at a tanning salon using his department cellphone in April 2012. He was sentenced Monday to two years of probation.

Collins, a 15-year veteran police officer, had resigned from the Edwardsville Police Department after his arrest. As a convicted felon, he cannot work in law enforcement, according to City Administrator Ben Dickmann, who was police chief when Collins was hired.

But the only way for a police officer to lose his pension is to commit a felony related to the performance of his duties, Dickmann said. The Edwardsville pension fund is locally controlled, and the pension board would have had to decide whether using his department phone while off-duty constituted a relationship to performance of his duties.

But Dickmann said Collins withdrew his own contributions to the pension system and thus exited the pension system of his own accord. Collins had been vested with 15 years of service, and could have been eligible for a partial pension, pending the decision of the pension board, Dickmann said.

But Dickmann confirmed that by withdrawing from the pension program, there is no longer any eligibility and Collins will not draw any pension from the city.

Collins served as D.A.R.E. officer in Edwardsville District 7 schools and held the rank of senior patrol officer with a salary of $62,800 at the time of his charges.

Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com or 239-2507.

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