CHICAGO — The First District Appellate Court has reversed a lower court’s ruling that blocked a lawsuit by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office seeking to deny pension benefits to former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge.
Madigan filed the lawsuit in February 2011 saying the Retirement Board of the Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago illegally continued paying Burge his $3,000 per month pension.
The appellate court ruling sends the pension case back to Cook County Circuit Court. Madigan's office is seeking to revoke future pension payments and order Burge to pay back benefits he received since being sentenced in January 2011 to four and a half years in federal prison.
Burge was convicted in 2010 of perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with statements he made during a 2003 civil case concerning torture allegations from convicted felon Madison Hobley. In the civil case, Burge denied knowledge of or prticipation in the torture and physical abuse of suspects.
In January 2011, the pension board voted 4-4 on whether Burge should forfeit his pension because of the conviction. The tie vote, which took into account the fact that Burge was retired at the time of the Hobley case, allowed him to keep his pension.
In September, Cook County Associate Judge Rita M. Novak ruled that Madigan could not change the pension board's decision, according to the Daily Law Bulletin.