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   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A Republican lawmaker says he's ready to push legislation expediting the process to terminate state-funded pensions for public official convicted of corruption.
State Rep. Dwight Kay of Glen Carbon tells the Belleville News-Democrat he was moved to co-sponsor legislation in part because of a former county treasurer who was convicted of rigging tax liens.
The newspaper reported in October that ex-Madison County Treasurer Fred Bathon was still collecting a $90,000 pension. It was halted this month.
The law says public officials found guilty of corruption can collect pensions until sentencing. Kay's bill would allow termination at a guilty plea or conviction. Lawmakers return to Springfield in late January.
 
Published in Local News

   EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A Madison County Board members says it's "disgusting" that the county's ex-treasurer still collects a pension after pleading guilty to a crime.

   Fred Bathon pleaded guilty eight months ago to rigging 2005-2008 tax lien auctions so his political donors could profit from inflated penalties paid by property owners.

   The Belleville News-Democrat reported Sunday that the 58 year old has received more than $340,000 in pension benefits since his 2009 retirement. He was treasurer for 11 years.

   Kathy O'Brien is general counsel with the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund. O'Brien says that according to state law a pension is terminated at sentencing, not conviction.

   Court records show Bathon's sentencing is Dec. 6.

   Republican Madison County Board member Jamie Goggin says continuing to collect a pension is abusing the public.

   Bathon's attorney declined comment.

Published in Local News

   Three men who admit conspiring with ex-Madison County Treasurer Fred Bathon to rig property tax auctions are free as they await sentencing.  

   John Vassen, Scott McLean and Barratt Rochman each pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to violating the Sherman Anti-trust Act.  The three men orchestrated a multi-year "pay-for-play" scam that cheated more than 10,000 property owners out of about $2 million in excessive interest and penalty payments.  

   Bathon had pleaded guilty in February to rigging tax lien auctions between 2005 and 2008 to benefit his political donors.

   U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Williams set the sentencing hearing for Vassen, McLean and Rochman for Feb. 21.

Published in Local News

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