From the Twitter feed of Michael Hewlett comes this incredible tale of union flim-flamming of Illinois taxpayers.
Writing at Forbes, OpentheBooks.com founder Adam Andrzejewski explains that in 2012, Illinois reformed its particularly loose public-pension rules specifically to squeeze out a lot of recipients who shouldn't really have qualified for taxpayer-funded retirements. The new law specifically came about after news leaked that two teachers-union lobbyists, Stephen Preckwinkle and David Piccioli, had managed to get pensions worth more than $1 million after substitute teaching for just one day apiece.
A couple of weeks ago, we spotted Preckwinkle and Piccioli within a long list of 30 state retirees from the Illinois Federation of Teachers (private sector teachers union). Sure enough, in 2014, Piccioli is receiving $30,564 and Preckwinkle $37,416 pensions (click here for their life expectancy pension payouts of nearly $1 million each). The experience was a bit overwhelming, even for our seasoned team of forensic investigators….
Sadly, these cases represent a systematic problem. The Washington Times recently ran a story based on data collected at OpenTheBooks.com exposing 40 private sector union leaders from the National Education Association, Illinois Education Association and the Illinois Federation of Teachers who cleaned out $5,000,000 a year in Illinois teacher pensions.
Data at OpenTheBooks.com shows that twenty-four of those union employees have already collected more than $1 million in retirement pensions. Because the union is a private sector employer, taxpayers have no say in the active salaries awarded to the union employees, but guarantee funding for the lifetime pension payouts.
Such antics help explain why the five public pensions in Illinois have a liability of $100 million and may run out of money by 2029, says Andrzejewski.
Take it away, Lulu: