Local retired judges on 'lavish' list produced by taxpayer group

Ann Knef Mar. 9, 2011, 1:00am



Retired Illinois Supreme Court Justices Moses Harrison of Caseyville and Philip Rarick of Troy enjoy the best judicial pensions in the state, according to a top 100 list produced by the National Taxpayers United of Illinois.

With 29 years of credit, Harrison, who retired in 2002, receives $14,297 per month for a total of $171,561 annually. His estimated pension payout is $1,244,220. He was ranked second on the top 100 list.

Ranked third on the list, Rarick, who retired in 2004, receives $14,227 monthly for a total of $170,728 annually. His estimated pension payout is $954,200. He has 30 years of credit.

Jim Tobin, president of the Illinois Taxpayer Education Foundation, said, "Not only are Illinois state judges the second highest paid in the country, their pensions are some of the highest in the state. These lavish pensions continue to wreak havoc on the taxpayers and are symptomatic of the problem of sending us into bankruptcy."

Other retired local judges on the list include Charles Chapman of the personal injury firm LakinChapman in Wood River.

With 22 years of credit, Chapman receives $13,352 monthly for a total of $160,224 annually.

Chapman served as a Madison County circuit judge from 1979 to 1988. He was elected in 1988 to the Fifth District Appellate Court and served until 2001.

Chapman partnered with Brad Lakin in 2009.

Michael O'Malley, who retired as St. Clair County circuit judge last year, receives $12,667 monthly for a total of $152,010 annually. He has 22 years credit.

Following his retirement, O'Malley entered private practice as a personal injury attorney.

Retired Madison County circuit judges Nicholas Byron and Edward Ferguson each receive $12,370 monthly for a total of $148,445 annually.

Byron has 28 years credit; Ferguson has 34.

Others include retired Madison County Circuit Judge P.J. O'Neill and retired St. Clair County Judge Stephen Kernan, who both receive $12,347 monthly for a total of $148,169 annually. O'Neill has 25 years credit; Kernan has 28.

"We hear the anger and frustration from our retired members who have to pay increased taxes with their meager social security checks to fund these outrageous pensions," said Tobin in an article, "Retired Illinois Judges Raking In Extravagant Pensions."

"These 'public servants' make far more than workers in the private sector and get millionaire pensions as well," Tobin said.

"Almost all of the recent 67% income tax increase is being used to fund lavish pensions in the state pension fund."

The top 100 list can be found at http://www.ntui.org/ITEF/downloads/JudicialPensions.pdf.

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