We have yet another grotesque pension story involving a city struggling with financial woes. This one is out of my home town of Chicago. Charles LoVerde III, a former trustee of the city laborers’ pension fund, will receive three pensions for the same time period totaling nearly $500,000 a year — that’s right, three pensions for the period. The triple crown of pensions was also won by union official, Liberato “Al” Naimoli, would will receive $438,000 a year. Since he is only 59 years old, he stands to rake in at least $9 million over his expected lifetime.
There are at least eight union officials in Chicago were eligible for these windfalls, which are allowed under what was described as “a charitable interpretation” of Illinois law by officials representing two city pension funds.
Once again, there is no indication that any lawyer or official will be punished for such an obscene interpretation. The city is closing police stations for lack of funds but giving three pensions to each of these officials. In the case of LoVerde, he took leave of absence in 1998 from a job with the city’s water management department. His salary in 1998 was $44,000 a year. He will now make half a million a year in pensions.
Naimoli retired in 2010 from the $15,000-a-year city job.
The city pension fund directors’ attorney, Fredrick Heiss, insists that it is perfectly legal and suggests that it is due to the legislature’s fault: “The Legislature never told us how to administer this thing. They could have said ‘no second pension at all,’ but they didn’t say that.”