Illinois state Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant announced Thursday that she wants disgraced former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert stripped of all taxpayer-funded pensions in the wake of his recent criminal conviction for violating banking rules and lying to the FBI.
“I urge you to immediately revoke Hastert’s pension,” Bertino-Tarrant wrote in a letter to the General Assembly Retirement System. “In light of what we now know about Hastert’s abuse of children and misuse of the public’s trust, the taxpayers should no longer be required to pay for his retirement benefits.”
Hastert was found guilty of bank fraud Wednesday and sentenced to 15 months in prison. He attempted to use hush money to cover up sexual abuse dating back to his time as a Yorkville teacher.
Hastert served in the Illinois General Assembly and Congress. He was ultimately named Speaker of the House in 1999.
Over Hastert’s career, he earned pension benefits as a teacher, state legislator and congressman.
“Had the public known about Hastert’s behavior he never would have been elected and therefore never would have received a pension,” Bertino-Tarrant wrote. “He does not deserve to continue receiving taxpayer-funded benefits for the time he served as a lawmaker.”
The Illinois Teachers Retirement canceled Hastert’s pension Wednesday but the General Assembly has yet to. According to a release provided by Bertino-Tarrant, that pension is valued at roughly $28,000 annually.