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Burge to Keep Police Pension

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jan 27, 2011 7:20PM

For people who believe the 4-1/2 years in prison former Chicago Police lieutenant Jon Burge received last week wasn't nearly enough, today's vote by the police pension board that allows Burge to retain his pension should have all the flavor of a sugar-coated turd. Five votes were needed to revoke Burge's pension and the eight member-panel — half voted to the board by the Police Department, half appointed by Mayor Daley — was split right down the middle. Want to take a guess as to which side voted for Burge to keep his pension?

The vote hinged on whether or not Burge's conviction was directly related to his actions as a police officer. Kenneth Hauser, one of the former cops and president of the pension board, said it wasn't. Burge's conviction, Hauser said, "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." Michael Shields, another member of the side that voted in favor of Burge, concurred. "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 now gets to retain his pension of $3,039.03 a month, because four cops didn't believe he lied under oath about torturing suspects while he was at Area 2 headquarters. Granted, the statute of limitations to prosecute Burge on the actual brutality charges had long passed, but this isn't a crooked line here connecting his perjury conviction to his actions as a cop.

At least he'll get to draw interest on it while he sits in prison.