EDWARDSVILLE — A newspaper story about the fact that ex-Madison County Treasurer Fred Bathon continues to collect on a $90,000-per-year state pension has led state Rep. Dwight Kay, R-Glen Carbon, to co-sponsor a bill to ban criminals from receiving taxpayer-funded pensions.
House Bill 3665 amends the Illinois pension code to cut off pension benefits to participants in a state retirement fund who are convicted of corrupt acts linked to their public service.
Crimes covered by the measure include intimidation by a public official, bribery, official misconduct, engaging in kickbacks, fraudulently obtaining public money reserved for a disadvantaged business enterprise and certain types of theft.
Kay said in a statement that he was "outraged to learn that criminals continue to receive a taxpayer funded pension after pleading guilty for an act they committed while serving the taxpayers.
Kay added the he believed that rewarding elected officials with a pension after they admittedly broke the law while serving the taxpayers should be stopped.
"Criminals should not be allowed to collect a taxpayer funded pension," he said.
The catalyst for Kay's bill was a story published Sunday in the News-Democrat that highlighted the fact that Bathon was still receiving his $90,000-per-year state pension eight months after pleading guilty in federal court to orchestrating a scheme to rig the county's annual auction of tax liens, cheating thousands of county taxpayers.
Contact reporter Mike Fitzgerald at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-239-2533.