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Pension Ruling Could Pay Out Big for Ex-Grayslake Cop

If a court ruling stands, Grayslake taxpayers could be paying $500,000 over the next 20 years in pension increases for former Grayslake Police Sgt. Conrad Gutraj, reports the Daily Herald.

The Grayslake Police Pension Fund board will meet this morning to discuss the pension increase application of former Police Sgt. Conrad Gutraj, who could be entitled to collect nearly $500,000 over the next 20 years due to a pension loophole, reports the Daily Herald.

In September, a Lake County judge ruled that Gutraj is entitled to two annual cost-of-living increases — a 3 percent increase for a disability (suffering a heart attack in April 2000 while at work) and another 3 percent for turning age 60 in 2011, according to a Daily Herald article.

The ruling is being appealed by the Grayslake Police Pension Fund board, on which Gutraj himself served.

Brad Faxton November 15, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Well, that does it. Keeping someone on the payroll for $12/hr for the next 20 yrs for the many years they worked for the village is an outrage. This is a goofy article trying to stir up controversy and focusing on a big number. In reality, $12/hr for a village with no debt is hardly something to balk at.
Steve Sarich November 15, 2012 at 03:43 PM
There always seems to be a "loophole" when it comes to any government plan. Why is that? Are these plans/program never fully vetted. Does no one, a redundant question ever ask, "...what if?" Yes, Mr. Faxton the Village is debt free, due in large measure to sound fiscal oversight by the Mayor, Village Manager and the Trustees. My initial question is what is Sgt. Gutraj current pension before this "loophole," kicks in. $500,000 over 20 years is $25,000 EXTRA PER YEAR!!! Where might that $25,000 be better used in the Village. What is Sgt. Gutraj's current pension benefit? I'll bet it's more than $25,000 a year...quite a bit more.
Angela Sykora (Editor) November 15, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Steve--There is a link to the Daily Herald story within the Patch post, but here it is again: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20121114/news/711149942/ According to the report, Gutraj's current pension payout for 2011 was nearly $52,000.
Mary November 16, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Brad, couldn't agree more. How can anyone begrudge those on the forces that 'serve and protect', often putting their lives on the line, a pension during their retirement years? They aren't in professions affording them the potential to 'make the big bucks' during their career years and now they shouldn't receive their pension either? Wow, what a loophole. Steve, 'fiscal oversight'. Please do your homework. Our Village Manager is the highest paid in the state - more than the VM in Naperville, more than the VM in Rockford - more than the governor. Not to mention that he seems to need a few Assistant VM's earning well into the six figures. Oversight is just what this town of barely over 20,000 needs rather than blindly assuming our 'leaders' have our best interests in mind.
Jim Jensen November 18, 2012 at 09:41 AM
Um, you are missing the point: "Adding intrigue to the saga is the fact that Gutraj isn’t just a former officer, but he’s a longtime member of the Grayslake Police Pension Fund board who sat in on the board’s private executive sessions when his case was discussed over the past year. It’s a practice that isn’t illegal, but certainly is considered questionable by legal experts" There is a conflict of interest here, and the whole mess smacks of corruption. "Putting his life on the line"? PLEASE...Hardly a rough place to be, Grayslake. "Professions affording big bucks", maybe 15k/year more AFTER 10 years of service, but the officers seem to have no problem talking down to those in such professions. One increase is sufficient, especially while he is free to earn other income and no longer serves. The rest of us have to save for retirement, he should be grateful for what he has and not exploit his position and acquaintances to squeeze more out of taxpayers. Perhaps you have not actually paid a Grayslake reap property tax bill lately, or lost $300,000.00 in property value. But after all, this is just the "Chicago way" isn't it?
Jim Jensen November 18, 2012 at 09:43 AM
What, no last name Mary?? Might be a little too controversial I suppose....

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