Oak Brook hopeful Sheahan amendment will return
Updated: July 15, 2012 3:02PM
Village of Oak Brook officials kept an eye downstate as representatives voted on an amendment that would reverse legislation that led to former police chief Tom Sheahan’s inflated pension obligations, which were placed on Oak Brook taxpayers.
The measure passed the Illinois Senate, but stalled in the Illinois House, where it remained as the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly ended.
“We’re still hopeful it will come up in a special session or veto session and be approved,” Village Manager Dave Niemeyer said. “On that note, some progress was made.”
In 2007, then State Rep. Robert Molaro passed legislation that allowed one person in the state, Sheahan, to boost his pension payments by transferring previous pension credits to the Village of Oak Brook. The move left the village with an estimated $750,000 unfunded pension liability.
Oak Brook made its first payment of $52,030 toward the liability on Jan. 13 and Niemeyer said payments will be made yearly unless the legislation is reversed. Senate amendment HB5078 would repeal the 2007 Molaro legislation and was introduced by Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-24th.
Niemeyer said a motion would have removed the amendment from the overall pension reform bill, and state representatives debated an hour before voting on it.
Niemeyer said Rep. Chris Nybo, R-41st, went to bat for the village, making a plea to leave it alone. A vote to “knock out” the amendment from the overall pension reform package failed by a 40-75 margin.
Oak Brook hopes to see the legislation resurrected in a special session or the fall veto session, Niemeyer said.
“There is simply no excuse for not repealing this outrageous Molaro legislation,” Village President Gopal Lalmalani said Tuesday. “We are working hard on trying to get this bill approved. This legislation is now on everyone’s radar.”