One day re-hire yields taxpayer millions for Chicago union boss
Meet Dennis Gannon, poster child for public employee union greed. Jason Grotto of the Chicago Tribune lays out the amazing tale of how the bankrupt city of Chicago (which received a billion dollars of stimulus money to pay its bills) is providing a lavish retirement of a union boss, through manipulation and the help of Democrat pols:
...his city pension is more than modest. It's the highest of any retired union leader: $158,000. That's roughly five times greater than what the typical retired city worker receives.
In fact, his pension is so high that it exceeds federal limits and required the city pension fund to file special paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service to give it to him.
Like other labor leaders, he was able to take a long leave from a city job to work for a union and then receive a city pension based on a high union salary.
But in a new twist, a Tribune/WGN-TV investigation has found that Gannon is eligible for the lucrative pension deal only because City Hall rehired the former Streets and Sanitation Department worker for a single day in 1994, then granted him an indefinite leave of absence. (snip)
State law allowed Gannon to retire from the city in 2004, the year he turned 50; since then, he has received about $1 million from his city pension. He stands to collect approximately $5 million during his lifetime, according to an analysis based on the fund's actuarial assumptions.
Until last year, that pension came on top of Gannon's union salary, which had grown to more than $240,000. He now draws the pension while working for a hedge fund, Grosvenor Capital Management, that does work with public pensions, including the Teachers Retirement System of Illinois. The firm also was one of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's largest campaign contributors.
Americans are struggling to pay their bills, but public employee union leaders like Gannon are exempt from President Obama's call for shared sacrifice, and taxpayers have to pay for his lavish living. I nominate Gannon as spokesman for government unions. He has the leisure time, and aptly symbolizes the con game played on taxpayers by the union-Democrat cabal that dominates Illinoios and too much of the nation.
Update: More from the great John Kass of the Chicago Tribune.