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The lobbyist and the lawsuit

In his budget address, Gov. Bruce Rauner complained that Illinois government is designed to benefit those inside the system rather than the working families of our state.

David Piccioli is Exhibit A of that truth.

Piccoili is a retired Illinois Federation of Teachers lobbyist who took advantage of a loophole in the state pension law. He worked one day as a substitute teacher and qualified for a $36,000 a year pension boost. That’s in addition to his two other state pensions that combined total more than $61,000 a year.

After reporters uncovered this pension sweetener, lawmakers changed the law and took away Piccioli’s extra money.

Most people would be too ashamed to dispute that change, but not Piccioli. He’s suing the state, arguing that under Illinois’ Constitution, pensions can’t be cut under any circumstances.

Sen. Kwame Raoul said Piccioli’s lawsuit is “kind of bold.” You think?

Piccioli’s attorney, Carl Draper, said his client “did what the law allowed and in good faith.” Piccioli did this in good faith? Please. No right-thinking person would believe that a $36,000 annual pension in exchange for one day’s work is fair.

Onlyin ethically challenged, self-serving Illinois would a state government insider pretend otherwise.