Oak Brook wins Sheahan pension appeal
The Second District Appellate Court has agreed with the village of Oak Brook and confirmed the invalidity of much of the pension liability related to former police Chief Thomas Sheahan.
Justice Kathryn Zenoff, in a 20-page opinion, ruled that Sheahan's attempts to transfer previous credits from service with Deerfield and Chicago violated the Illinois Pension Code. The appellate court decision affirmed the circuit court decision in June 2014.
"Left unchecked, Mr. Sheahan's improper transfers would have left the village with an unfunded liability of over $740,000, notwithstanding that Mr. Sheahan worked in the village for just over six years," village President Gopal Lalmalani said. "I am very pleased that the appellate court honored the rule of law to prevent yet another example of pension abuse in our state."
The case was filed after Sheahan resigned from the village. The village later received a notice of pension liability for Sheahan from the Illinois Municipal Retirement System, totaling more than $740,000. The village appealed the decision to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund board, which upheld the pension after a full hearing. The village then appealed the decision to the circuit court.