Among 20 Madison County board members and officials who expect to collect state pensions, no one has yet signed a certificate saying that he or she earned it.
Illinois legislators took drastic action against pension abuse on county boards this year, banning future board members from participating in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.
Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill Aug. 26. Existing board members who are already enrolled have to fill out time sheets indicating they meet the minimum standard of having worked 600 hours per year.
Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund managers audited Madison County in December 2013.
“We inquired as to the estimated time that the elected officials spend on employer business,” auditors wrote.
“Based upon responses received, we were unable to determine that the above mentioned elected officials met County’s annual standard requirement of 600 hours.
“Please provide documentation of time spent on county business on an annual basis for each elected official.”
As an alternative, they provided a certificate for each official to return.
It stated that only the work required for performance of official duties counted toward the hourly standard.
“IMRF participation is not an automatic benefit of holding elected office,” auditors wrote.
“Hours spent on call or otherwise informally available to constituents do not count toward the IMRF hourly standard, nor does time spent traveling to meetings.”
It warned that fraud on the fund was a Class 3 felony.
No Madison County board member or official filed a certificate.
Instead, in January 2014, county administrator Joseph Parente emailed a report to the IMRF stating that all members worked 788 hours.
It stated that they spent 300 hours attending meetings, 240 hours communicating with constituents, 96 hours reviewing finances and operations, 72 hours meeting and communicating with other taxing districts, and 80 hours on other duties.
It somehow satisfied the fund, not only for 2014 but also for 2015 and 2016.
County payroll records show current retirement deductions for board members Stephen Adler (R-Alton), Arthur Asadorian (D-Granite City), Steven Brazier (D-East Alton), Gussie Glasper (D-Madison), Ann Gorman (D-Edwardsville), Michael Holliday (D-Alton), Judy Kuhn (R-Trenton), Bruce Malone (D-Alton), Thomas McRae (R-Bethalto), William Meyer (R-Hamel), Kristen Novacich (D-Granite City), Robert Pollard (-East Alton), Brenda Roosevelt (D-Glen Carbon), Michael Semanisin (D-Maryville), Kelly Tracy (D-Marine), John Trucano (D-Collinsville), and Michael Walters (R-Godfrey). Records also show deductions for County Board chairman Alan Dunstan, auditor Rick Faccin and assessor's office employee Bennetta Ruppert.