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Feds Investigate City Union Leaders

By aaroncynic in News on Dec 8, 2011 3:15PM

Nearly a dozen union officials in Chicago were named in subpoenas in a federal criminal investigation, the Chicago Tribune reports. A federal grand jury subpoenaed each of the Chicago municipal employees and laborers pension funds in October to discern how these officials became eligible for bloated city pensions.

A joint investigation by the Trib and WGN found that a law in the early 90's which allowed city union leaders to receive credit in public pension plans for private union work helped those leaders rake in paychecks which were beyond their pay as city employees while they still earned union salaries.

Among those named in the subpoenas are former officials from the Chicago Federation of Labor, Cook County Building and Construction Trades Council, the Laborer's International Union of North America and more. Last month, state lawmakers sent a bill to Gov. Quinn which would eliminate the ability for union leaders to base city pensions on union salaries and disallow them simultaneous city and union pension benefits.