How many hours did the County Board work?

April 17, 2014 

The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund is tidying up in St. Clair County government, but too bad it didn't do the deep cleaning that the taxpayers who help fund public pensions deserve.

The IMRF revoked pension benefits for nine attorneys and three East St. Louis election commissioners after determining they don't work enough hours to qualify for a pension. However, part-time County Board members get to keep their pension benefits. The IMRF accepted the county's word that the board members work 712 hours a year, but that's highly doubtful.

About a dozen of the 29 board members don't even pick up the information packets provided for them prior to board meetings, but we're supposed to believe they spend 32 hours a month on constituent services? Right.

The county said that board members spend six hours a month meeting with County Board Chairman Mark Kern. He probably doesn't do that even with his fellow Democrats. Republicans would be lucky if Kern talked to them six minutes, let alone six hours.

Too bad the IMRF didn't require each board member to certify that he worked more than the minimum hours required for a pension. The form notes that providing false information is a Class 3 felony. We suspect that many of the board members, maybe most, would have dropped out of the pension program if they had to do that.

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