The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund is questioning whether McHenry County Board members are working enough hours to justify pensions after they leave office, the Northwest Herald has learned.
And a state representative known for tussling with the County Board over various issues in recent years plans to ask that a special prosecutor be appointed to investigate.
Under state law, McHenry County government employees must work at least 1,000 hours a year – or about 20 hours a week for 50 weeks – to qualify for IMRF benefits. The County Board in 1997 set a higher standard for its employees – the law otherwise sets a 600-hour annual minimum.
But an audit conducted last year by IMRF cast doubt on whether most board members are meeting the threshold, IMRF Director Louis Kosiba said.
Kosiba, who along with state Rep. Jack Franks asked to meet with the newspaper’s editors, pointed to a line from the IMRF’s own manual to back his assertion. Barring “highly unusual circumstances,” officials elected to county, village, township or municipal boards will not qualify for IMRF under the 1,000-hour threshold.
“What I would like to do is make sure the county is made whole. If any of these County Board members do put in that 1,000 hours, it’t not my issue. For me, it’s a good-government issue,” said Kosiba, who has led IMRF since 2001.
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