Commentary: Faithful fire service dampened by battle over 'fiduciary responsibilities' in Illinois

  • Source: Chicago Tribune - Metered Site
  • Published: 02/13/2019 12:00 AM

Once in a blue moon, the little guys get a break. Like what happened last week when a Lake County judge sided with the family of a deceased Buffalo Grove firefighter, upholding his full pension benefits. The downside to Judge Diane Winter’s ruling is that Buffalo Grove officials may appeal her decision under the guise of their “fiduciary responsibilities” to residents whose taxes help fund the village’s public employee pension fund. Shame on them and their bean-counter mentalities. According to a Pioneer Press story last week, the judge wisely said she didn’t want “to reweigh the evidence” the village’s pension board had examined in the case of 51-year-old firefighter Kevin Hauber. That material included data from two medical professionals who determined Hauber’s death from colon cancer was caused by exposure to toxic smoke and carcinogens during his 23 years in the fire service. Buffalo Grove officials first pulled the “fiduciary responsibilities” tactic last year when they appealed the pension board’s decision to award Hauber’s family — a wife and four daughters — 100 percent of his pension. The village wants the pension to be 75 percent of his annual six-figure salary.


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