Ryan Wins on Bond, Loses on Pension

November 30, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Former Illinois Governor George Ryan won one and lost one on Thursday, as a federal appellate court allowed him to remain free on bond pending appeal but the Illinois General Assembly Retirement System board stripped his pension from him.

The Chicago Sun Times reported that Ryan’s freedom came from a 7 th  US Circuit Court of Appeals decision – overturning   US District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer– to grant the former state chief executive his requested appellate bond.Pallmeyer had rebuffed Ryan’s request to be free pending appeal after saying the defense “overstated” juror misconduct allegations.

Ryan was sentenced to 6½ years in prison after a jury in April convicted him and his co-defendant, Lawrence Warner, in a scheme to steer contracts and leases to his friends (See Convicted Former IL Governor Could Lose Pension ).

The Sun Times said the appellate court put the appeal on a fast track, with all briefs due by the end of January. Typically, it could take up to a year just to brief a complex case such as Ryan’s six-month trial, observers said.

Also Thursday, the Illinois General Assembly Retirement System board stripped Ryan of a $197,000 annual pension, ruling his racketeering conviction wiped out benefits built up over a 35-year public career.

The vote was 7-0. A close Ryan friend who attended the meeting told reporters that the former governor would appeal the decision.