Appeals panel: No pension benefits for ex-Chicago cop Anthony Abbate, convicted in videotaped beating of female bartender

Link:https://cookcountyrecord.com/stories/619782204-appeals-panel-no-pension-benefits-for-ex-chicago-cop-anthony-abbate-convicted-in-videotaped-beating-of-female-bartender

Excerpt:

A state appeals panel has ruled a Cook County judge was wrong to declare Anthony Abbate — a Chicago police officer convicted of a 2007 aggravated battery targeting a female bartender — remained entitled to his pension.

Cook County Circuit Judge Anna Loftus ruled in favor of Abbate in a lawsuit against the Retirement Board of the Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of the City of Chicago, which stripped Abbate’s pension following his conviction. Loftus determined the battery had no connection to Abbate’s service as a police officer and therefore couldn’t be used to invalidate his pension.

The Illinois First District Appellate Court ruled on the pension board’s appeal in an order issued Feb. 7. Justice Aurelia Pucinski wrote the opinion; Justices Michael Hyman and Carl Walker concurred. The order was issued under Supreme Court Rule 23, which may restrict its use as precedent.

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According to Pucinski, the pension board also said “Abbate used his position as a police officer to interfere with a criminal investigation into his own conduct at the bar” and cited testimony from a federal civil trial in which a jury found in favor of the bartender against Abbate and the city. The panel rejected Abbate’s arguments alleging the pension board failed to support its conclusions and selectively included evidence.

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The panel further rejected Abbate’s argument it should only consider a specific section of the Illinois Pension Code, explaining it would consider other cases interpreting similar forfeiture provisions, such as those affecting the General Assembly, Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund members and others.

Author(s): Scott Holland

Publication Date: 7 Feb 2022

Publication Site: Cook County Record

Did IL state lawmakers unconstitutionally borrow billions of dollars? IL Supreme Court to decide

Link: https://cookcountyrecord.com/stories/580283019-did-il-state-lawmakers-unconstitutionally-borrow-billions-of-dollars-il-supreme-court-to-decide

Excerpt:

Tillman, of suburban Golf, centered his claims on Article IX Section 9(b) of the Illinois state constitution. Tillman argued that provision of the state constitution limits the state’s ability to borrow money.

The complaint particularly focuses on text requiring lawmakers to identify “specific purposes” for debt when issuing new long-term bonds. Tillman argues that “specific purposes” clause should be read to forbid state lawmakers from borrowing money to finance deficits or “plug holes” in the state’s budget, such as the shortfall faced by the state when funding pension obligations.

Tillman has argued lawmakers in both 2003 and 2017 failed to identify “specific purposes” when it issued bonds, and then unconstitutionally assigned to the state comptroller the power to decide how the borrowed money was spent.

Author(s): Jonathan Bilyk

Publication Date: 19 March 2021

Publication Site: Cook County Record