Legislators deem Mautino undeserving of giant pension hike
Not only are Illinois taxpayers supporting Auditor General Frank Mautino with a $157,000 annual salary—including off-the-chart benefits—but should he remain in the position, his pension will increase by $59,000 in just one year.
That’s what’s bothering a consortium of Republicans who thrice demanded an explanation from the Democrat about his questionable campaign spending recently to no avail.
Following a spate of emails addressed to the auditor general, who took office in the beginning of 2016, Mautino said on May 12that he has no intention of answering to the claims.
The Illinois General Assembly (ILGA) thinks he has some explaining to do. State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) said that constituents deserve an accounting of his campaign financing. Not only did the ILGA hire Mautino to represent the citizenship, but his benefits package includes perks that are rare even among private-sector workers.
Documents reveal that Mautino stands to profit at what appears to be an accelerated rate. Having served 24 years as a state representative for Spring Valley, Mautino is entitled to a starting pension of $74,000 — representing 85 percent of his ending salary of $87,000. After serving one year at the combined higher sum, he would be paid 85 percent of $157,000, meaning a starting pension of more than $133,000 — a figure that would compound at 3 percent annually for life once he retires.
Mautino’s budget came under scrutiny earlier this year when a watchdog group called the Edgar County Watchdogs found anomalies. For example, disproportionately high vehicle expense line items were all paid to one vendor, with a number of entries listed as whole numbers. Additionally, campaign expenses appeared to continue well after he took office as auditor general.
“Frank Mautino has a campaign finance problem that mirrors those of Aaron Schock and Jesse Jackson Jr.,” Ives said. “By all appearances, he is just filling a seat to maximize his taxpayer-funded pension benefits. Illinois doesn’t currently have a mechanism in place to strip legislators convicted of crimes related to campaign finance of their pensions. This is just another example of political insiders looking out for themselves at the expense of families and businesses.”
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