Why Illinois Is In Trouble - 63,000 Public Employees With $100,000+ Salaries Cost Taxpayers $10 Billion

Authored by Adam Andrzejewski via Forbes.com,

The 'Big Dogs' of local government in Illinois.

Illinois is broke and continues to flirt with junk bond status. But the state’s financial woes aren’t stopping 63,000 government employees from bringing home six-figure salaries and higher.

Whenever we open the books, Illinois is consistently one of the worst offenders. Recently, we found auto pound supervisors in Chicago making $144,453; nurses at state corrections earning up to $254,781; junior college presidents making $465,420; university doctors earning $1.6 million; and 84 small-town “managers” out-earning every U.S. governor.

Using our interactive mapping tool, quickly review (by ZIP code) the 63,000 Illinois public employees who earn more than $100,000 and cost taxpayers $10 billion. Just click a pin and scroll down to see the results rendered in the chart beneath the map.

Here are a few examples of what you’ll uncover:

  • 20,295 teachers and school administrators – including superintendents Joyce Carmine ($398,229) at Park Forest School District 63, Troy Paraday ($384,138) at Calumet City School District 155, and Jon Nebor ($377,409) at Indian Springs School District 109. Four of the top five salaries are in the south suburbs – not the affluent north shore.

  • 10,676 rank-and-file workers and managers in Chicago – including $216,200 for embattled Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) and $400,000 for Ginger Evans, Commissioner of Aviation – including a $100,000 bonus. Timothy Walter, a deputy police chief, made $240,917 – that’s $146,860 in overtime on top of his $94,056 base salary. Ramona Perkins, a police communications operator, pulled down $121,318 in overtime while making $196,726!

  • 9,567 college and university employees – including the southern Illinois junior college power couple Dale Chapman ($465,420) and Linda Terrill Chapman ($217,290). The pair combined for a $682,000 income at Lewis and Clark Community College. Fady Toufic Charbel ($1.58 million) and Konstantin Slavin ($1.04 million) are million-dollar doctors at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

  • 8,640 State of Illinois employees – including $258,070 for Marian Frances Cook, a “contractual worker” at the newly created Dept. of Innovation and Technology. Further, there are the “barber” and “teacher of barbering” positions in the state prisons making $100,000+. Loreatha Coleman made $254,781 as a nurse at the Dept. of Corrections.

  • 8,817 small town city and village employees – including 84 municipal managers out-earning every U.S. governor at $180,000. These managers include Lawrence Hileman (Glenview – $297,988); Michael Ellis (Grayslake – $264,486); Robert Kiely (Lake Forest – $255,247); Kevin Bowens (Libertyville – $254,428); and Richard Nahrstadt (Northbrook – $250,248).

In total, there is roughly $12 billion in cash compensation flowing to six-figure government workers when counting the 9,031 federal employees based in Illinois.

So, who are the biggest culprits in conferring six-figure salaries? We ranked the top 15 largest public pay and pension systems in Illinois:

Illinois’ largest pay and pension systems conferring $100,000+ cash compensation

Corruption in Chicago

Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago now pays out more six-figure incomes than the state government. We found city truck drivers, tree trimmers, and street light repair workers earned six-figures. But, really, the problem is the overtime. Last year, the city paid out $283 million in overtime to 1,000 employees who pocketed more than $40,000 apiece.

Chicago paid out $283 million in overtime (2016) - here are the top 10 city departments.

Taxpayer-Expensive Educators

Some of Illinois’ K-12 schools are spiking salaries and padding pensions. Data reveals nearly 30,000 teachers and administrators earned $100,000+ incomes. However, just 20,295 of those educators are currently employed; the other 9,305 are retired, resting on six-figure pensions.

Here’s how it breaks down in two of 900 school districts. Just 1,236 of the 2,147 educators with $100,000+ incomes are currently working.

  • In Township High School District 214, there were 500 retirees receiving six-figure annual pensions in addition to 640 working educators.

  • In Palatine Township High School 211, while 596 educators earned a six-figure salary, 491 retirees received six-figure lifetime pensions.

Private associations, nonprofits, and retired lawmakers

All kinds of entities are jumping on the gravy train. Private associations, nonprofit organizations and former lawmakers have gamed the system for personal gain. All of this is legal, although it shouldn’t be:

  • Former state representative Roger Eddy (R) currently makes $334,433 – that’s $303,953 as Executive Director of Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) and $30,500 from his lawmaker’s pension. Eddy is double dipping for a second government pension, and his employer (IASB) – a private nonprofit – is further burdening an underfunded Teacher’s Retirement System.

  • Two of the highest earners within the municipal pension system work for private associations – not government. Brett Davis, Executive Director of Park District Risk Management Agency, makes $319,404, while Peter Murphy, Executive Director of Illinois Park District Association, brings in $309,972. These private nonprofits muscled their way into the government system and their huge salaries will mean lavish taxpayer-guaranteed pensions.

  • Former Gov. Jim Edgar (R) took $2.38 million in compensation from the University of Illinois (2000-2013) and has received at least $2 million in pension payments earned from his 20-year career as legislator, secretary of state and governor. Today, Edgar receives $241,272 ($20,106 per month) per year from two pension systems: the General Assembly Retirement System ($161,016) and the State University Retirement System ($80,256).

Highly Compensated Locals

County bosses are getting in on the action. In three of the 102 counties – DuPage (201), Lake (237) and Will (190) – 628 employees earned $100,000+. Lake won top honors with 237 six-figure employees. In DuPage, Tom Cuculich, the “Chief of Staff” to DuPage Board Chair Dan Cronin (R), made $201,750.

Even “water district” employees are tapping into the taxpayer largess with 1,432 employees making $100,000+. Across Illinois, 348 highly compensated “park district” employees make over $100,000.

Illinois, like many states, is in serious trouble. Policymakers are exploring desperate measures. Two weeks ago, ten Republicans voted with Democrats to override Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of a permanent 32-percent income tax hike. Without reforms the tax hike will only feed a culture of waste and abuse.

Rauner was right to veto the income tax hike but he hasn’t shown serious resolve to curtail spending. In fact, he created a personal assistant position for his wife – who has no official state duties – for $100,000 a year at taxpayer expense.

But, hey folks, it’s Illinois!


NoDebt NoDebt Wed, 07/26/2017 - 20:13 Permalink

Say, this reminds me of a story (when you get old everything reminds you of something else).My idiot sister-in-law who has absolutely NOTHING on the ball, got into a job at county-level government, assisted by her mom who had worked at the county for decades (this is how you get a government job, just FYI).  Anyway, decent money, free healthcare, pension, 401k... the whole shebang.  Nothing extravagant, but for somebody who couldn't hold a job working the fryer at McDonalds, not too shabby.  This idiot, last year, out of the blue QUITS HER JOB.  We drill into this and there was no real reason behind it- just wanted a break, basically.  She went unemployed for a few months because she thought she could get by on her pension, which she started to draw from.  How much is she getting?  $62/mo.  Not $620, SIXTY TWO DOLLARS A MONTH.  She now works at FedEx, earns less, no pension, crappy 401k and non-free healthcare.We all took turns last Christmas calling her the stupidest bitch any of us ever had the sad misfortune to run across in our lives.  I also told my wife if she ever gives her sister a dime there will be divorce papers on the kitchen table by the end of the week.   

In reply to by NoDebt

bloofer SilverRoofer Wed, 07/26/2017 - 22:10 Permalink

Yup.  True everywhere, even in every little town--each of which has several families of local elites.The government jobs--down to the lowliest cop or clerk--go to the "connected." And of course the connected elite families are all Democrats, and they spend a lot of energy fulminating about any threatened reduction in government jobs. Their neice needs that teaching job and their nephew that job at the water department, lest they be reduced to seeking real jobs like everyone else. Muffy wouldn't like working at the gas station, and Chucky couldn't cut it as a roofer. So they should have guaranteed cushy and well-paid jobs with benefits, because they are the important people. (The "important people" whose role in life is to leech off of the working people.)

In reply to by SilverRoofer

City_Of_Champyinz Normalcy Bias Wed, 07/26/2017 - 20:06 Permalink

My brother lives in Colorado.  He blames the rapidly deteriorating situation there on all the Californians moving in, yet he only votes Democrat and claims to be a liberal.  he is not a liberal or progressive he is much more of a libertarian however he is also a brainwashed useful idiot at the same time.  Not sure how to get through to him.  And his wife?...oh man, not getting started on that shit.

In reply to by Normalcy Bias

Juggernaut x2 Wed, 07/26/2017 - 19:31 Permalink

Every cop and firefighter in every podunk town makes $80K+ in IL. Teachers w/Masters Degrees teaching 2nd graders making the same $ while working a whopping 180 days a year.

Glyndwr will return Wed, 07/26/2017 - 19:38 Permalink

"We didn't become the most prosperous country in the world just by rewarding greed and recklessness. We didn't come this far by letting the special interests run wild. We didn't do it just by gambling and chasing paper profits on Wall Street. We built this country by making things, by producing goods we could sell". Barack Obama

Too-Big-to-Bail (not verified) Wed, 07/26/2017 - 19:52 Permalink

I realize now for the first time that draining the swamp is an impossible task The race to the bottom is close to the finish line

roddy6667 Wed, 07/26/2017 - 19:47 Permalink

Colleges can lose their accreditationt if their finances are not in shape. Already one state college in Illinois that has mostly black students fails to meet those standards. My niece's daughter is a student at Univ. of Illinois. We are watching things now. They claim that they can stay within guidelines, at least for another year, because of alumni donations. Sucks to spend all that time and money just to have it declared invalid.

cherry picker Wed, 07/26/2017 - 19:52 Permalink

There are so many people living on .gov with voting privileges that the hand that feeds them is slowly being squeezed to death.Government does not produce anything.  All it does is spend money and make regulations.  Not all is wasted, but for the most part .gov is overly generous to its employees and lobbyists.These employees build monster homes, drive late model, expensive vehicles and for the most part look down on the tax payer who is shouldering this.  Taxes paid by government employees don't count as that comes from the tax payer too.I thought some people in government would try and fix this issue, but the swamp is now so formidable the only thing that will right it is a major collapse.  Unfortunately if a major collapse comes a calling it will turn people against each other with violence.I see it coming, just don't know when and FB, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Apple and Bitcoin won't save it.

Snippy21 Wed, 07/26/2017 - 19:53 Permalink

From the north shore of Chicago. Our high school teachers didn't like that we found out about TheChampion.org back 2002. We could see their salaries and I was shocked at the number of 100k jobs 15 years ago. Fast foward to 2009 or 10. The filthy liberals wanted between $250-500 million dollars for a new high school. Incredible how these rats love spending other peoples money.  

HRH Feant2 (not verified) Wed, 07/26/2017 - 19:53 Permalink

Anyone know where the go when they retire?

That is a helluva lot of money. Wow. Just wow.

Sgt_SOS Wed, 07/26/2017 - 20:03 Permalink

OMG, I was about to scream about the injustice, the madness that is the overly taxed ChiTown peasant, but then I read the fine print and the increase only takes them up to 4.95%. As a poor Kekistani refugee living in SoCal, my wife and I aren't even in the top tax bracket in Commifornia and we paid 9.3% on our income and just over $18K in property taxes on our home. FFS, you idiots in Ill keep electing these idiots and letting them rape you clean, so start "paying your fair share" for the progressive politics that you love so much and go cry in the lake!