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THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF ILLINOIS, REP. KURT M. GRANBERG, SEN. JAMES CLAYBORNE, SEN. DON HARMON, REP. RICHARD T. BRADLEY, SEN. WILLIAM BRADY, REP. LEE DANIELS, and REP. PHILIP COLLINS, in their official capacities, Defendants-Appellants. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) On Appeal from the Appellate Court of Illinois, First Judicial District No. 1-07-1601
There on Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, County Department, Chancery Division No. 06 CH 28340
The Honorable MARTIN S. AGRAN, Judge Presiding.
REPLY BRIEF OF DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS LISA MADIGAN Attorney General State of Illinois MICHAEL A. SCODRO Solicitor General 100 W. Randolph St., 12th Floor Chicago, Illinois 60601 (312) 814-3312 Attorneys for Defendants-Appellants JAN E. HUGHES Assistant Attorney General 100 W. Randolph St., 12th Floor Chicago, Illinois 60601 (312) 814-2129
ARGUMENT The Board Of Trustees Correctly Concluded That Ryan Forfeited All Of His Pension Benefits Because His Felony Convictions Related To, Arose Out Of, And Were Connected With His Service To The State While A Member Of The General Assembly Retirement System. A. Introduction Using the well-settled principle that clear statutory language should be given effect without reading into it limitations not intended by the legislature, the Board of Trustees terminated all of George Ryan’s pension benefits pursuant to section 2-156 of the Illinois Pension Code, which pertains to the General Assembly Retirement System (“the System”) and states that [n]one of the benefits herein provided for shall be paid to any person who is convicted of any felony relating to or arising out of or in connection with his or her service as a member. 40 ILCS 5/2-156 (2008). This provision is clear as written: Ryan, who was a member of the System throughout his service as a member of the General Assembly and as Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, and Governor, committed felonies that were related to, arose out of, or were in connection with his service as a member. Therefore, pursuant to section 2-156, Ryan is entitled to none of the pension benefits that he earned in any of the offices he held as a System member. Ryan’s argument focuses on section 2-105 of the Code, which defines “member” as “[m]embers of the General Assembly of this State including persons 1
who enter the military service while a member of the General Assembly and any person serving as Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Comptroller, or Attorney General for the period of service in such office.” 40 ILCS 5/2-105 (2008). Based only on conjecture, Ryan claims the phrase “for the period of service in such office” is an “express limitation” that “narrows the scope of the term ‘Member’ to the period of service in a specific office.” Appellee Brief at 14. But the meaning of a statute cannot be based on supposition. See Petersen v. Wallach, 198 Ill. 2d 439, 447 (2002) (a court cannot ignore plain language of statute based on conjecture). After all, the purpose of rules of construction is to arrive at a reasonable meaning of a statute consistent with the intent of the legislature. Brucker v. Mercola, 227 Ill. 2d 502, 514 (2007). Conjecture does not substitute for reasoned analysis. The phrase on which Ryan’s entire argument rests does not in any way limit the felony forfeiture provision to the office or offices he held when he committed his crimes; on the contrary, it simply defines eligibility in the System based on the length of the term of the particular elected office. Considering the language of the phrase, its history, and its relationship to other provisions in the Code, it is clear, based on established tools of statutory construction and without resort to guesswork, that the phrase simply refers to a member’s eligibility and not to a limitation on the felony forfeiture provision. As such, this Court is asked to reject Ryan’s arguments and reverse the appellate court’s decision. 2
The phrase “for the period of service in such office” in the definition of “member” refers to a member’s eligibility in the System and does not limit the felony forfeiture provision. Ryan was a member of the System when he committed his felonies, and, in
accordance with the plain language of the felony forfeiture provision, he must forfeit all of his pension benefits, regardless of which specific office he held when they accumulated. While it is true that a statute should be read as a whole to determine legislative intent (Lacey v. Village of Palatine, 232 Ill. 2d 349, 361 (2009)), the phrase “for the period of service in such office” in the definition of “member” does not in any way limit the application of the felony forfeiture provision to only those offices in which Ryan served when he committed his crimes. Ryan’s approach would require this Court to read into the felony forfeiture provision limitations that the legislature did not intend. See Sangamon County Sheriff’s Dep’t v. Ill. Human Rights Comm’n, 233 Ill. 2d 125, 138 (2009) (where language is clear, court should not read into it limitations legislature did not express); People v. Cardamone, 232 Ill. 2d 504, 516 (2009) (court does not depart from statute’s plain language by reading into it conditions that conflict with expressed intent). 1. The plain language of the phrase “for the period of service in such office” supports a finding that the phrase describes eligibility in the System.
The phrase “for the period of service in such office” is a term of System eligibility and not a limitation on the felony forfeiture provision. The legislature 3
made clear by including the phrase in the definition of “member” that an officeholder is eligible for membership only during the period of his or her elected office. To illustrate, an individual who is a member of the General Assembly for one term and some years later is elected Comptroller is eligible for membership in the System during his or her terms in office, not during the intervening years. Thus, section 2-105 simply provides that a person is a member of the System for the period of service in office. The Board’s interpretation of the phrase “for the period of service in such office” is further supported by the Code’s definition of “service.” Section 2110(A) provides that “[s]ervice” means “the period beginning on the day when a person first became a member, and ending on the date under consideration, excluding all intervening periods of nonmembership following resignation or expiration of any term of office.” 40 ILCS 5/2-110(A) (2008). This is consistent with the meaning of the phrase in section 2-105 describing the period during which an officeholder is eligible for membership in the System. Ryan criticizes the Board’s reliance on the definition of “service,” claiming that the last two words in the phrase “for the period of service in such office,” and not the word “service” is the operative language. Appellee Brief at 22-24. But this position is contradicted by Ryan’s own arguments. For example, he contends that: member is “expressly limited in scope to the ‘period of service’ in each constitutional office” (id. at 1); member “is restricted to ‘the period of service’ in 4
such office” (id. at 13); the “phrase ‘for the period of service in such office’ is an express limitation” (id. at 14); and “‘the period of service’ in a specific office results in a significantly narrower forfeiture provision” (id. at 18). Contrary to Ryan’s assertion, these other statements show that he, like the Board, believes that the meaning of the term “service” in the definition of “member” is relevant to the interpretation of the statute. Ryan’s internally inconsistent argument regarding the significance of the term “service” does nothing to rebut the Board’s plain reading of the statute – the definition of “service” supports the conclusion that the phrase “for the period of service” merely limits an elected official’s eligibility for membership in the System and nothing more. Under Ryan’s theory, the phrase somehow treats the offices listed in section 2-105 as separate entities, meaning that the forfeiture applies only to those benefits earned in the office or offices directly related to the felony conviction. Appellee Brief at 14-15. But he reads too much into this simple phrase, which says nothing about treating the various offices separately for purposes of the felony forfeiture provision, and such a purpose cannot be implied. More significantly, if the legislature intended to create separate entities for purposes of the felony forfeiture provision, it knew how to do so, for that is precisely what it did in the portion of the Code relating to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (“IMRF”). See Taddeo v. Bd. of Trustees of the Ill. Mun. Ret. Fund, 216 Ill. 2d 590, 598-600 (2005) (plaintiff allowed to keep pension from 5
Proviso Township because he committed felonies as mayor of Melrose Park and these were two separate participating municipalities under IMRF). In the IMRF portion of the Code, the legislature mandated that “each participating municipality and its instrumentalities, and each participating instrumentality, shall be treated as an independent unit within the fund[.]” 40 ILCS 5/7-204 (2008). In contrast, the System was created as one entity for the benefit of members of the General Assembly and statewide elected officials, where its “funds and property shall be a trust separate from all other entities.” 40 ILCS 5/2-101 (2008). Unlike the IMRF, where the separate participating municipalities each make contributions to the retirement fund on behalf of their participating employees based on a “separate municipality contribution rate” (40 ILCS 5/7-172, 7-211(a) (2008)), the State is obligated to make contributions and pay all administrative and operational expenses for every member of the System (40 ILCS 5/2-125, 2-126.1 (2008)). Furthermore, under the IMRF, the separate liabilities and reserves of each participating municipality or instrumentality are segregated (40 ILCS 5/7-203 (2008)), whereas the assets of the System “shall be invested as one fund, and no particular person, group of persons or entity shall have any right in any specific security or property, or in any item of cash, other than an undivided interest in the whole” (40 ILCS 5/2-153 (2008)). These examples of critical differences between the portions of the Code governing the IMRF and the System show that when the legislature intends to 6
create membership divisions for purposes of felony forfeiture, it knows how to do so unambiguously. There is no language in the portion of the Code relating to the System that can be read either explicitly or implicitly as the legislature’s intent to treat Ryan’s pension as divisible for purposes of the felony forfeiture provision. The offices that comprise the System are treated as one undivided entity, and all of the members of the System serve the citizens of the State, unlike the employees covered by the IMRF who serve the various separate municipalities that employ them. In contrast to the elaborate and explicit means by which the legislature created separate divisions for purposes of the IMRF felony forfeiture provision, the legislature surely did not intend to create the same sort of divisions for the System when it added the phrase “for the period of service in such office” to the definition of “member.” 2. The history of the phrase “for the period of service in such office” shows that it is a term of eligibility and not of limitation on the felony forfeiture provision.
Ryan suggests that the intent of the legislature to limit the felony forfeiture provision by adding the phrase “for the period of service in such office” is evident from “the progression of the amendment” that transferred the constitutional officers from the State Employees’ Retirement System (“SERS”) to the System. Appellee Brief at 16-17. Had Ryan considered the entire history of the definition of “member” and not just a selected portion, he would have seen that the phrase refers only to eligibility and has no bearing on the felony forfeiture provision. 7
When the Pension Code was enacted in March 1963 (1963 Ill. Laws 161732), “member” was defined as “[m]embers and presiding officers of the General Assembly of this State, including persons who enter military service while a member of the General Assembly.” Ill. Rev. Stat. 1963, ch. 108 1/2, para. 2-105. At that point, the constitutional officers were members of SERS. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1963, ch. 108 1/2, para. 14-143. In 1969, the System’s definition of “member” was amended to add a statement of eligibility: Members and presiding officers of the General Assembly of this State, including persons who enter military service while a member of the General Assembly provided that the President of the Senate in office on the effective date of this amendatory Act, and a member of the system, shall be eligible as a member only until the expiration of his term of office. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1969, ch. 108 1/2, para. 2-105 (1969 Ill. Laws 1514, 1514; Public Act 76-741) (emphasis added). When the statewide elected officers were moved from SERS to the System in 1975, a second paragraph was added to the foregoing definition of “member” in section 2-105: Any person elected by vote of the people of the whole State to the Office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Comptroller, or Attorney General for the period of his service in such office. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1975, ch. 108 1/2, para. 2-105 (1975 Ill. Laws 2882, 2883; Public
Act 79-959). Because the first paragraph of section 2-105 made clear that membership would not continue beyond the expiration of a term of office, it is reasonable to read the phrase “for the period of service in such office” in the second paragraph as ensuring that the constitutional officers’ eligibility for membership similarly would be tied to the term of office for which they were elected. In 1985, the definition of “member” was amended to read as it does today: Members of the General Assembly of this State including persons who enter military service while a member of the General Assembly and any person elected to the Office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Comptroller, or Attorney General for the period of his service in such office. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 108 1/2, para. 2-105 (1984 Ill. Laws 3114, 3116; Public Act 83-1440). The history supports the view that the phrase on which Ryan’s argument is based describes when a state legislator or any of the statewide elected officers are eligible for membership, but does not constitute any sort of limitation on the System’s felony forfeiture provision. On a related note regarding the history of the amendment that transferred the statewide elected officials from SERS to the System, the Board noted in its opening brief (pp. 29-31) that during legislative debates reasons were given for transferring the constitutional officers from SERS to the System, yet there was no 9
mention that the transfer was done for the purposes of limiting the felony forfeiture provision. The conclusion drawn from the debates is that the transfer occurred to upgrade the constitutional officers’ pension and not to give them increased protections under the felony forfeiture provision, as Ryan had claimed. In response, Ryan states merely that the lack of discussion about the felony forfeiture provision is inconsequential. Appellee Brief at 16-17. At the same time, he continues to believe, albeit erroneously, that the purpose of the transfer of the constitutional officers to the System was to give them a narrower felony forfeiture provision. Id. at 15. But if, in fact, they were given more protection than they had under the SERS statute, surely such a significant change would have been mentioned during the legislative debates, but it was not. C. Relevant case law supports the Board’s decision. In terminating Ryan’s pension, the Board analyzed Taddeo, Wells v. Bd. of Trustees of the Ill. Mun. Ret. Fund, 361 Ill. App. 3d 716 (2nd Dist. 2005), appeal denied, 217 Ill. 2d 627 (2006), and Grever v. Bd. of Trustees of the Ill. Mun. Ret. Fund, 353 Ill. App. 3d 263 (2nd Dist. 2004), appeal denied, 217 Ill. 2d 561 (2005) (see S.R. C. 225-31). The Board explained in its brief (pp. 16-20) that its decision was in harmony with all three cases. In response (Appellee Brief at 17-20, 24-27), Ryan claims that the Board’s reliance on decisions involving the IMRF exposes the “fundamental flaw” in the Board’s argument (id. at 17). Given that he believes that Taddeo “provides the clearest guidance” (id. at 24), that his situation is 10
analogous to Grever (id. at 25), and that these decisions are “informative” (id. at 24), his argument that the Board’s reliance on the decisions was somehow error is hardly convincing. In any event, the Board’s decision was consistent with Taddeo or Grever. Both cases involved the IMRF portion of the Code, which, as previously shown, treats each participating municipality as an independent unit within the fund. In Taddeo, this Court found that the plaintiff’s felony related to his position as Melrose Park mayor, but not to his Proviso Township supervisor position, and determined that he forfeited only that portion of his pension that he earned from Melrose Park. 216 Ill. 2d at 598-60. The Grever court concluded that a felony conviction connected to the plaintiff’s service as an Ela Township supervisor resulted in the forfeiture of benefits earned only from that employment relationship and not from his service with other municipalities participating in the IMRF. 353 Ill. App. 3d at 267. Although Wells also involved the IMRF, unlike Taddeo and Grever, the employee had worked for only one municipality – the Village of Antioch – and held various positions during his employment with the Village. 361 Ill. App. 3d at 718. The court determined that he should forfeit his entire pension because the IMRF portion of the Code did not limit application of the felony forfeiture provision to particular positions held in the course of an individual’s service as an employee for a single employer. Id. at 722. 11
The facts of this case are similar to those in Wells, which involved the employee’s service in various positions with one municipality. Ryan served one entity, the State of Illinois, in various elected positions. As the Board correctly concluded in accordance with Wells, the key factor “rests on the singularness of the employer” (S.R. C. 290). In all of these cases, forfeiture is tied to the identity of the entity for which the public service was performed and to which the felonies were related: Taddeo forfeited his benefits because the felony related only to his service to Melrose Park; Grever lost his pension because his crimes were committed during his service to Ela Township; Wells forfeited all of his benefits because his felony conviction related to his employment with only one entity, the Village of Antioch; and Ryan lost all of his benefits because his crimes were connected with his membership in the System and his service to only one entity, the State of Illinois. Under the reasoning of Taddeo and Grever, pension benefits are not forfeited to the extent they are earned in the service of a governmental employer different from the one to which the officer’s felony convictions relate. The Taddeo and Grever decisions also rested on the explicit provisions in the IMRF statute that treat municipalities as independent employers within the pension fund. See 40 ILCS 5/7-203, 7-204 (2008). The Board’s decision is consistent with these cases because Ryan belonged to one retirement system in service to the State of Illinois – the sole employer participating in the System. Nothing in the portion of 12
the Code governing the System either implicitly or explicitly treats the various elected offices as separate entities for the purpose of pension credits or payments or for forfeiture of benefits upon a service-related felony conviction. Ryan claims that his situation cannot be compared to the cases involving the IMRF because its felony forfeiture provision provides for the loss of benefits upon “any felony relating to or arising out of or in connection with [the person’s] service as an employee” (40 ILCS 5/7-219 (2008)), whereas the System’s forfeiture provision uses the term “member” rather than “employee.” Appellee Brief at 1721. Again, his argument rests on the erroneous premise that the language in the phrase “for the period of service in such office” in the definition of member limits the felony forfeiture provision to the specific offices held. But, as has been shown, the premise is unwarranted, and his argument fails. And as the Board explained in its opening brief (pp. 35), it is irrelevant that the felony forfeiture provisions in the various portions of the Code use different terms to best describe their members and participants. See, e.g., 40 ILCS 5/16-199 (2008) (Teachers’ Retirement System applies to “service as a teacher”); 40 ILCS 5/18-163 (2008) (Judges’ Retirement System applies to “service as a judge”). Also in the opening brief (pp. 22-23), the Board cited Shiomos v. State Employees’ Ret. Bd. for the proposition that pension benefits that have accumulated in one pension fund are subject to forfeiture “by and through the ‘renewed’ agreement which is formed each time a person chooses to become a 13
‘public official’ as defined by the pension statute.” 626 A.2d 158, 160 (Pa. 1993). Ryan claims that Shiomos is distinguishable because that statute, which mandates the forfeiture of pension benefits if the public official is convicted of “any crime related to the public office or public employment,” does not limit the forfeiture to the period of service in a specific office. Again, however, because the premise of Ryan’s argument is erroneous regarding the meaning of “for the period of service in such office,” his attempt to distinguish Shiomos fails. The Board recognized that the forfeiture provisions at issue here and in Shiomos are not identical (see Opening Brief at p. 22, n.4 for the wording of the Pennsylvania forfeiture provision), but both cases involve one pension fund and individuals who continued to accumulate pension benefits through service in various public offices. As such, it is relevant that the Shiomos court concluded that it is not unconscionable or unreasonable “to provide that at every new term of employment a public official or employee renews and amends his or her pension contract to include the new public service and to place at risk that which may have already been earned. Such is the nature of the public employment agreement.” 626 A.2d at 163. D. A Nexus Exists Between Ryan’s Crimes And His Service As A Member. This Court in Devoney v. Ret. Bd. of the Policemen’s Annuity & Benefit Fund for the City of Chicago, held that when applying a felony forfeiture provision, “the pivotal inquiry is whether a nexus exists between the employee’s 14
criminal wrongdoing and the performance of his official duties.” 199 Ill. 2d 414, 419 (2002). That forfeiture provision stated then, as it does today, that a policeman is disqualified from receiving benefits if the felony is one “relating to or arising out of or in connection with his service as a policeman.” See 40 ILCS 5/5227 (2008). The Devoney court concluded that “[u]nder the plain and unambiguous language of the statute, what triggers disqualification is the existence of a connection between the actual felony conviction and the officer’s service as a policeman.” 199 Ill. 2d at 419. Consistent with the Devoney holding, the Board correctly recognized that [b]y using the phrase “[n]one of the benefits” in conjunction with the phrase “any felony relating to or arising out of or in connection with his or her service as a member[,]” the plain language of Section 2-156 mandates the forfeiture of all [r]etirement [a]nnuity provided for by the System where a nexus exists between the felony conviction and the participant’s official duties, regardless of whether the participant held distinct offices or positions with the State. (S.R. C. 287). Having found the necessary nexus, the Board terminated all of Ryan’s benefits. Ryan argues that the Board’s decision ignores the nexus requirement because his convictions related only to his service as Secretary of State and Governor. Appellee Brief at 24-27. But this position is contrary to the plain language of the felony forfeiture provision, which requires a nexus between the crimes and the official’s status as a “member” of the System. 40 ILCS 5/2-156 15
(2008). Under the statute, all members are in service to the State, the contributions are not segregated by the various offices held, the funding obligation rests on the State and not on the individual offices, and divisions are not made between the offices for purposes of loss of pension benefits due to a felony conviction. Where there is a nexus between the felony conviction and any of the offices held by a member of the System, “none of the benefits . . . shall be paid[.]” Id. In support of his argument, Ryan relies on Taddeo and Grever and states that his pension is derived from “service in separate offices.” Appellee Brief at 25. On the contrary, his pension is derived from his service as a member of the System. As stated previously, the IMRF portion of the Code creates clear divisions among the participating municipal employers, but the System contains no similar divisions, and Ryan owed a duty of conscientious service to all of the citizens of the State. When he violated the public trust, all of his benefits were tainted, the required nexus was established, and the forfeiture of all of his benefits resulted in accordance with the plain language of the Code. E. Because The Legislature Mandated That “None of the Benefits Shall be Paid,” A Partial Forfeiture Cannot Satisfy The Felony Forfeiture Provision. Although Ryan is correct (Appellee Brief at 17) that pension statutes are liberally construed in favor of the annuitant (see, e.g., Shields v. Judges’ Ret. Sys., 204 Ill. 2d 488, 494 (2003)), he fails to acknowledge that this canon of construction has its bounds (Mattis v. State Univ. Ret. Sys., 212 Ill. 2d 58, 76 16
(2004)). While a pension statute should be liberally construed, if the intention of the legislature is obvious from the language used, “that intention must be made effective, and the judiciary will not be warranted in giving the act a meaning not expressed in it.” Robbins v. Bd. of Trustees of the Carbondale Police Pension Fund, 177 Ill. 2d 533, 545 (1997). Because section 2-156 of the Code requires a total forfeiture of all pension benefits, Ryan’s contention that a partial forfeiture satisfies the statute must be rejected. Ryan argues that a partial forfeiture of his benefits representing those that accrued during his service as Secretary of State and Governor strikes a proper balance between the purpose of the felony forfeiture provision and the principle that forfeitures are not favored. Appellee Brief at 27-30. And he claims that forfeiture of the benefits that accrued when he was in the General Assembly and Lieutenant Governor would constitute a substantial injustice. Id. Putting aside that Ryan’s proposed partial forfeiture would defy the statute’s plain language and, even assuming for the sake of argument that a partial forfeiture still might deter others (albeit less effectively), deterrence is not the only purpose of the forfeiture provision. The provision is intended to protect the public’s right to conscientious service from government officials (Kerner, 72 Ill. 2d at 513), but it also protects public funds and preserves respect for government service (see MacLean v. State Bd. of Ret., 733 N.E.2d 1053, 1063 (Mass. 2000)). Public monies were used to satisfy the State’s obligation to make 17
contributions to the System to help fund members’ pensions. See 40 ILCS 5/2-124 (2008) (State appropriates funds to contribute to the System); 40 ILCS 5/2-125 (2008) (State has obligation to make required contributions)). Because Ryan’s crimes constituted a fundamental breach of the public trust held by all of the citizens of Illinois, a total forfeiture of Ryan’s benefits ensures both that no public monies are used to fund his pension and that the purpose of the forfeiture provision is accomplished. A public official has an obligation to serve the public trust honorably and in good faith. People v. Barr, 83 Ill. 2d 191, 210 (1980). Section 2-156 was in effect when Ryan became a member of the System in 1972 and throughout the remainder of his public service and, thus, he knew each time he was elected and continued his membership in the System that he would forfeit his pension if he were convicted of a felony related to his service as a member. There surely is no unfairness in applying that long-standing provision to him now where he failed to comply with the condition that he perform his duties honorably at all times. Ryan argues that the General Assembly is satisfied that a partial forfeiture strikes a proper balance because it declined to enact legislation that would have overruled Taddeo and Grever. Appellee Brief at 29-30. He refers to House Bill 159 (see Appellee App. at A50-A54), which was introduced in December of 2006 and would have moved all of the felony forfeiture provisions to a single provision in Article 1 of the Pension Code. According to the Bill, “a person who is 18
convicted of a felony relating to, arising out of, or in connection with his or her service as a participating member of any retirement system or pension fund may not receive any benefits provided in the Code, including any benefit for service not related to the felony conviction.” Id. at A51. The Bill did not have a third reading and on May 25, 2007, was “[r]e-referred to Rules Committee[.]” Id. at A54. No further action was taken on the Bill. Id. Ryan errs in attaching any significance to the facts that the Bill did not have a third reading and a vote was not called. Even if the principle of legislative acquiescence applies, based on the obvious differences between the sections of the Code relating to the IMRF and the System, any acquiescence in the Taddeo and Grever results would be irrelevant to the outcome in this case. In any event, a presumption of legislative acquiescence is merely a jurisprudence principle and not a rule of law. People v. Perry, 224 Ill. 2d 312, 331 (2007). The felony forfeiture provision clearly requires that Ryan receive none of his pension benefits. Allowing him to keep a portion of his pension is not only contrary to the plain language of the provision, but it destroys its purpose, which is to protect the public by ensuring that the members of the System will honorably perform the duties of the offices for which they were elected. A forfeiture of all of Ryan’s benefits promotes the policies underlying the felony provision and makes certain that the citizens of Illinois, whose trust Ryan betrayed, are not required to pay for his retirement. 19
CONCLUSION For these reasons and those in the opening brief, the DefendantsAppellants, the Board of Trustees of the General Assembly Retirement System and the individual Members of the Board, respectfully request that this Honorable Court reverse the appellate court’s decision and affirm the Board’s decision terminating all of Ryan’s pension benefits based on his felony convictions. Respectfully submitted, LISA MADIGAN Attorney General State of Illinois MICHAEL A. SCODRO Solicitor General 100 W. Randolph Street, 12th Floor Chicago, Illinois 60601 (312) 814-3312 Attorneys for Defendants-Appellants JAN E. HUGHES Assistant Attorney General 100 W. Randolph St., 12th Floor Chicago, Illinois 60601 (312) 814-2129
CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE I certify that this reply brief conforms to the requirements of Rule 341(a) and (b). The length of this reply brief, excluding the pages containing the Rule 341(d) cover, the Rule 341(h)(1) statement of points and authorities, the Rule 341(c) certificate of compliance, the certificate of service, and those matters to be appended to the brief under Rule 342(a), is 20 pages.
JAN E. HUGHES Assistant Attorney General
STATE OF ILLINOIS COUNTY OF COOK
) ) SS. )
PROOF OF SERVICE The undersigned, being first duly sworn upon oath, deposes and states that three copies of the Reply Brief of the Defendants-Appellants were served upon the below-named party by depositing such copies in the United States mail at 100 West Randolph Street, Chicago, Illinois, in an envelope bearing sufficient first class postage on September 3, 2009, before 5:00 p.m.
Kyle P. De Jong Winston & Strawn LLP 35 West Wacker Drive Chicago, IL 60601
SUBSCRIBED and SWORN to before me this 3rd day of September, 2009.
No. 108184 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF ILLINOIS GEORGE H. RYAN, SR., Plaintiff-Appellee, v. THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF ILLINOIS, REP. KURT M. GRANBERG, SEN. JAMES CLAYBORNE, SEN. DON HARMON, REP. RICHARD T. BRADLEY, SEN. WILLIAM BRADY, REP. LEE DANIELS, and REP. PHILIP COLLINS, in their official capacities, Defendants-Appellants. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) On Appeal from the Appellate Court of Illinois, First Judicial District No. 1-07-1601
There on Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, County Department, Chancery Division No. 06 CH 28340
The Honorable MARTIN S. AGRAN, Judge Presiding.
NOTICE OF FILING BY MAIL TO: Kyle P. De Jong Winston & Strawn LLP 35 West Wacker Drive Chicago, IL 60601
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that I filed the original and twenty copies of the Reply Brief of the Defendants-Appellants with the Clerk of the Supreme Court, Supreme Court Building, 200 E. Capitol Ave., Springfield, Illinois, 62701, by depositing the same in the U.S. mail at 100 West Randolph Street, Chicago, Illinois, with proper postage prepaid, before 5:00 p.m. on September 3, 2009. Three copies of that Reply Brief are hereby served upon you. LISA MADIGAN Attorney General State of Illinois
By: JAN E. HUGHES Assistant Attorney General 100 W. Randolph St., 12th Floor Chicago, Illinois 60601 (312)-814-2129
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