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Friday, May 24, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Convicted Ex-Gov. Ryan Forfeited State Pension

(CN) - Former Illinois Gov. George H. Ryan Sr. has forfeited his full pension as a result of his felony convictions, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled. Ryan served as the governor of Illinois from 1999 to 2003, when he was ousted for corruption.

He paid into the General Assembly Retirement System since he was first elected as a state legislator in 1972.

In 2006, a federal grand jury convicted him of mail fraud, racketeering, conspiracy, income tax violations and making false statements to the FBI, all conduct stemming from his service as secretary of state and governor.

The Board of Trustees of the retirement system terminated Ryan's pension, and the Cook County Circuit Court upheld the decision on review. The court of appeals, however, reversed the decision in part. It ruled that Ryan had forfeited his pension funds from when he was governor and secretary of state, but he could collect funds from his days as a legislator and lieutenant governor.

The Illinois Supreme Court, however, ruled that Ryan's actions caused him to forfeit his entire pension.

"The trust to which Ryan was unfaithful was that which he owed to the people of the state of Illinois, who for 30 years placed their confidence he repaid by transforming two of this state's highest constitutional offices into an on-going and wholly self-serving criminal enterprise," Justice Robert Thomas wrote.

"As the victims of Ryan's crimes, the taxpayers of the state of Illinois are under no obligation to now fund his retirement," he added.

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