Thursday, January 27, 2011

Burge to still get pension

According the the Chicago Tribune, former CPD commander Jon Burge will still be able to get his pension... while he serves four years for perjury. It was a narrow vote with board members elected by members of the police force voting to let him keep his pension. Those appointed by the city government, who may have had an idea about the message sent, voted to deny him the pension.

Kenneth Hauser, president of the pension board and one of the four who voted to let him keep it, told the Trib this:
Burge's federal conviction "had nothing to do with things he did when he was on the job. He was retired 10 years when they convicted him. . .It wasn't on charges of what he did when he was a police officer. It was on a lie that he made in front of a civil jury."

Shields added, "This question all comes down to one issue: Did Jon Burge have any law enforcement duties when he was accused of this perjury? In 2003, he did not."
Burge was accused of torturing suspects for years to get confessions for crimes. He was fired for that suspicion the Trib said. By the time suspicions were proved 2006, the statute of limitations has passed. In other words, even if he had done it, no charges could be brought.

Flint Taylor, who represented one of those tortured had this to say to the Trib.
“To say that he should still be paid is mind boggling,” said Taylor when reached by phone. “It is a total slap in the face to the entire city and particularly the African American community.”
Burge will get $3,039.03 per month, according to the Trib. The paper also reported that police officers convicted of a felony  "relating to or arising out of or in connection with" their service as an officer are not eligible to collect their pensions. Unless of course the board votes otherwise.

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