News Local/State

Illinois Board Terminates Hastert’s State Lawmaker Pension

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert

In this April 27, 2016, file photo, former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert departs the federal courthouse in Chicago. Charles Rex Arbogast/File/Associated Press

An Illinois retirement board is terminating former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s state pension. He’d been collecting about $28-thousand a year for his service in the state legislature. The General Assembly Retirement System's board of trustees voted 5 to 2 Wednesday to end the pension.

State Representative Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside), says Hastert’s financial crimes related to his role as a public official.

“As a result of these payments, they would have affected his public career," he said. "His General Assembly service was part and parcel with that, so we felt it was a prudent decision."

Hastert is serving a 15-month prison term in a hush-money case stemming from his sexual abuse of students as a high school wrestling coach more than 35 years ago. Hastert's attorneys didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the decision. Hastert could appeal the decision in state court.

The Illinois attorney general's office previously recommended that the board reduce Hastert's pension to $9,000 a year.

Hastert also receives a pension for his tenure in Congress.