Convicted Former IL Governor Could Lose Pension

September 8, 2006 ( - Former Illinois Governor George Ryan, convicted of racketeering and fraud, could lose some or all of his pension benefits.

The Journal Gazette and Times-Courier (JG/T-C) of central Illinois reports, as soon as Ryan received his six-and-a-half year prison sentence this week, state retirement system officials asked the Illinois Attorney General’s office to start the process to take away Ryan’s monthly pension check. The state is allowed by law to revoke pensions for public officials convicted of crimes related to their public duties.

Officials are not sure if the law allows the state to revoke all of Ryan’s pension benefits or just the portion attributable to the time he was accused of corrupt behavior, according to the JG/T-C. Ryan was not convicted of corruption during his time as lieutenant governor or when he served in the General Assembly. Ryan currently receives a monthly check of $16,419 for his $197,000 annual pension.

Officials are asking for an opinion from the attorney general on the issue. Once that is received, the board governing the state’s pension system will vote on revoking the former governor’s pension. Ryan is allowed to appeal the board’s decision.