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Village Initiated Closer Look Into Former Police Chief's Pension

The board filed a request with the Illinois Department of Insurance inquiring about former police chief Rob Piscia's pension qualifications.

An examination into pension contributions by former police chief Rob Piscia began with the village pension board, according to Village Administrator Jerry Ducay.

The Frankfort Police Pension Board turned to the Illinois Department of Insurance to determine whether Piscia should have contributed to pension funds in recent years.

The department stated that Piscia was ineligible for participation in the board pension program, following a promotion in 2010. Piscia recently withdrew his pension credits claim and requested a pension contribution refund.

Piscia contributed to the police pension fund from Sept. 2010 to Sept. 2012, after he was promoted from police chief to assistant village administrator. The Department of Insurance issued its advisory in May, stating that Piscia should have ended his fund participation in Sept. 2010, when he left the police department.

The Chicago Tribune reported that several Frankfort police officers also expressed concern regarding Piscia’s contributions in a letter submitted to the pension board in July.

Piscia withdrew his pension credits claim in mid-September, the Tribune reported. He also entered a refund request for the $23,709 that he contributed to the pension fund during the last two years, which was approved by the pension board on Oct. 25.

By ceasing his pension fund participation in 2010 instead of 2012, Piscia lost approximately $9,000 per year from his future pension, according to calculations from the Chicago Tribune. Without those two years of pension credit, his future pension dropped from approximately $75,000 per year to $66,000 per year.

According to Ducay, the police pension board monitors all pension contributions and did not initially dispute Piscia’s continued fund contributions following his job change in September 2010.

“The call was the pension board’s,” said Ducay. “Since there was no dispute by the pension board, I assumed that it was a legitimate contribution.”

Multiple calls to Piscia and to the pension board were unreturned.

A representative from the Department of Insurance recently addressed the issue in an email to Patch.

“With the appointment of a new police chief, Mr. Piscia no longer served as an active police officer and was ineligible for participation,” said the Department of Insurance.

Because Piscia is no longer contributing to the police pension fund, he is now eligible to become vested in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), Ducay said. If he becomes vested in the IMRF, Piscia could collect on two pensions following his retirement.

Piscia will become vested in the IMRF after 10 years of contributing to the fund, said Ducay. He can begin collecting from the IMRF at 60. In 2025, Piscia will be eligible to collect 25 percent on his current salary, or approximately $35,000 per year.

According to Ducay, Piscia cannot collect on his police or IMRF pension while he is a government employee. However, he can collect on both pensions upon retirement, the sum of which will total approximately $101,000 annually.

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Concerned November 16, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Unreal! We are really suppose to believe that no one saw any issues with this even after the warnings from the department of insurance. When is the village of Frankfort and its police department going to get real? Perhaps the former chief should have spent more time training his officers and improving his department, instead of looking for ways to steal from us Frankfort residents. It's really scary how many people turned there heads and let this all happen. Question for the patch, who are the people on the pension board who clearly didn't do their job. Way to go Frankfort, keep up that 1890s charm, or wait is it rich in history yet ready for the future. You guys are rich in something, that's for sure. Lies and corruption.
Cheryl Walker November 16, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Sweet deal. Try and grab some more of our tax dollars and if it doesn't work he gets his refund. Abolish ALL pensions immediately for ALL govt employees, much like the private sector has done. There is no incentive for the Village to control future costs as they have a bottomless piggy-bank which is me and you. If the Village employees do not like loosing their pension, they are free to seek employment elsewhere. There are many people who would replace them quickly. 401K is good enough for the rest of us, should be fine for Village workers.
scorpion November 17, 2012 at 02:37 AM
There are still many questions that need to be answered and addressed. Someone from the Village Staff knows what happened and who authorized the increase of Piscia's payments to the pension fund. Not only does the employee contribute to the pension fund, the Village also contributes money to the fund on behalf of the employee. Therefore, an increased amount of money was put into the pension fund and someone in the Village knew about it. The Village Treasurer and Trustee (Cindy HEATH ?) that handles the financial reports for the Village should have been aware of the increase in contributions. Why are they hiding this from the public. WHO are they protecting ?? Someone needs to be ACCOUNTABLE !!!! Do any of the Village Trustees have the INTEGRITY to explain what happened and DISCIPLINE the person or persons RESPONSIBLE for this ?
scorpion November 17, 2012 at 02:50 AM
The police pension is governed by statutes. Every municipality with over 5,000 residents is required to provide pension benefits to police and fire personnel. These officers and firefighters contribute to their pension program, but do not contribute to social security. After 20 to 30 years of service, they receive pensions after age 50 but they do NOT receive social security benefits unless they have sufficient credits. Even though they have sufficient credits, they receive a reduced social security benefit because they are receiving a police or fire pension. Piscia is entitled to receive a police pension when he attains the age of 50 years old. He will receive 50% of his salary at retirement for 20years of service with an additional 2 1/2% of his salary for each year of police service after 20 years. He is NOT eligible to collect the police pension until he attains the age of 50 years.
scorpion November 17, 2012 at 02:56 AM
If Piscia contributes to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, he only needs to work 8 years to be vested, not the 10 that Ducay has indicated. He also CAN collect his Police pension when he reaches the age of 50. He can collect while he is contributing to another pension program as the IMRF.
scorpion November 17, 2012 at 03:32 AM
Did someone Flag my comments ?
Anna Schier (Editor) November 17, 2012 at 06:32 AM
Hi Scorpion, For this particular article the comments were set to be moderated. All your comments are now approved and should be visible on the site. Thanks for reading! Anna
Anna Schier (Editor) November 17, 2012 at 06:36 AM
Hi scorpion, My understanding from Mr. Ducay was that the village trustees have very little interaction with the pension board, and that the pension board, who make the vast majority of these decisions, have their own attorney, auditor and financial advisor. Thanks for reading! Anna
Ben Ghazi November 17, 2012 at 02:53 PM
The treasurer should be kept away from all pension decisions unless of course it involves Village funds. Trustees? Hello? The word 'trust' is right there. Please don't make us loose complete faith in EVERY level of govt.
Ben Ghazi November 17, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Change the statutes. We can no longer to pay these pensions. All that pension cash just sitting there is too much temptation much like Social Security is. The greedy lazy powers that be are too stupid to live within their means, so they raid. Illinois is so full of underfunded pensions it isn't funny. Not to mention all the pension padding such as this weasel. 20% raises on your last working day for everybody!
Ben Ghazi November 17, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Anna- Step-off.
Concerned November 18, 2012 at 02:56 PM
So are we going to hold our village accountable?!? There is a village board meeting tomorrow, maybe someone should show up and ask some questions. Since it is filmed live maybe we could get an answer out of one of these crooks. And what Ducay is saying about the village not knowing anything, seems to be a "cop" out. They should know where every cent of our money is going. And if they don't we should get someone who does. Time for the village of Frankfort administrators to get off the take and start being honest. Unreal
scorpion November 19, 2012 at 06:16 AM
Hi Concerned Yes, you can bet your life that this issue is not going to disappear without some accountability. This issue will be coming up VERY OFTEN in the months to come. Don't forget there will be an election for Mayor in the not to distant future. This issue is Mayor Holland's WaterGate and Benghazi. The administration is NOT being HONEST with the new media or with the people. Speak to any of the trustees, and they are tap dancing around the issue. Yes, questions need to be asked, but they also need to be answered HONESTLY and TRUTHFULLY. You better believe that the administration knows where every penny comes from, and where every penny is spent. There has to be a record somewhere of the increase in pension deductions from Piscia's police salary to the increased salary of his new position as Assistant Village Administrator. Someone knows....is it the Mayor ? how about some other Village employee or trustee....could it be Heath...Morgan.....Egan.....Dick Trevarthian..Walker....Stevens ???? What about Ducay ? There are ways to find out, the truth will prevail....time is coming !!!
scorpion November 19, 2012 at 06:21 AM
Anna Can the Patch advise the readers "Who are the people on the Pension Board" ??
Anna Schier (Editor) November 19, 2012 at 07:24 AM
Hi Scorpion, Regarding your question about who sits on the pension board, I would be happy to disclose the names of individuals whose identity is public knowledge (village trustees, etc.) However, because the board members' names are not listed on the village website, I don't think it's appropriate for me to post that information here. However, I can refer you to the board's webpage on the village website (http://www.villageoffrankfort.com/police-pension-board) and would suggest you contact the village for further information. Thanks for reading! Anna
Concerned November 19, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Well I hope someone starts asking some questions to these guys. They all think they are untouchable. From their bold face lies, to taking money from developers, to stealing money from pension funds, this group needs to be stopped. Everyone of them on that board is guilty. They are on the board to make sure everyone and everything is on the up an up, and that everyone is being honest. However it is obvious that they are clearly failing at this. Also how about all the all of the snow plows that were stolen from LW east. Way to go Frankfort police department. You can't seem to stop your chief from stealing how do plan on stopping everyone one else in our community from stealing? Email your village board tonight at VOFLive@gmail.com.
Jack Innhoff November 19, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Ohhh. a SECRET pension board. It's not like it's taxpayer funds at-play here. Carry-on. Nothing to see here. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
Jack Innhoff November 19, 2012 at 05:44 PM
You just need to look at the small Illinois town of Dixon and Rita Cromwell to get an idea how lax the systems are and how freely the cash flows. $30 Million she walked-away with and nobody noticed.
Ben November 19, 2012 at 09:54 PM
All you conspiracy theorists make me laugh. You guys are the biggest drama queens I have ever read. Keep them coming its actually entertaining, but it seems pretty simple that there is a pension board that should have caught it IF HE WAS DOING SOMETHING WRONG That is pretty much the only thing that is clear for now.
Ben November 19, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Concerned so do you have proof that the village is taking money from developers? Are you serious? What exactly is every board member guilty of? those are pretty serious accusations, you probably shouldnt be accusing people of that unless you can provide some kind of proof, which im pretty sure you have none, and are just making uneducated statements
scorpion November 21, 2012 at 06:57 AM
We ALL know he (PISCIA) was doing something wrong. He got caught and backed off on trying to scam the pension fund. Someone else was involved in this scam. The pension board realized that there was a problem and was going to have a hearing. This is when Piscia called this a DISTACTION !!! and asked to move on. The truth of the matter is that there was someone who authorized this to happen and the Village Board is doing NOTHING to identify WHO was involved and see that it does not happen again.

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