A convicted torturer is still receiving an Illinois state pension.
On July 3, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in favor of a decision by Chicago’s police pension board allowing disgraced former Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge to continue receiving his approximately $3,000 per month pension.
That’s despite the fact that Burge is currently serving a four-and-a-half year sentence in federal prison.
He was convicted for lying about the torture of police suspects who were later imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. The testimony of his victims is disturbing. The Chicago Tribune writes:
“One said Burge smothered him with a bag and shocked him with an electrical device in 1973. Another said that nine years later Burge shocked him in the genitals. Another said Burge played Russian roulette with a .44-caliber gun and smothered him with a plastic bag. All said they feared for their lives and confessed to murders and other crimes.”
In 2010, after Burge’s conviction, he and his pension were judged by the city’s police pension board, an eight-person group that included four of Burge’s fellow Chicago policemen.
When the board held a vote on whether Burge should be allowed to receive his full pension, the four current or former Chicago police officers on the board voted for the criminal to keep receiving his payment, while the four civilian trustees voted against it, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Despite the 4-4 tie, Burge was allowed to hold on to his full pension from behind bars.
One wonders whether these are the same bars behind which he put innocent men after brutalizing them. Jon Burge is scheduled to be transferred to a halfway house in the fall and to be freed on parole next February. He will continue to receive his cushy pension until he dies.