Atty. Gen. Madigan will waste her time with Ryan’s appeal

In a time when Illinois is burdened with an estimated $9 billion deficit, every dollar we have counts. What we’re going to spend those dollars on is just as important.

After an appellate court’s ruling Friday, $65,000 a year of taxpayers’ money might very well go to former Gov. George Ryan, once he finishes his six-year sentence for racketeering and fraud.

While $65,000 a year is already a small portion of the full pension he would have received had he not been convicted, the state of Illinois certainly doesn’t need to be spending taxpayers’ dollars on unnecessary things like corrupted officials pensions.

Things like that have been going on for far too long.

Ryan should not be getting a pension at all because his salary for the 34 years he served the state government should have been more than enough to let him live comfortably.

After all, that was the all-around consensus soon after he was convicted; his pension had been stripped completely by state officials and the trial court.

It was in Illinois’ best interest to ensure that George Ryan learned a lesson and at least to try to influence other corrupt officials into believing that crime doesn’t pay. Apparently that didn’t work, and George Ryan will be introduced to middle-class life with his pension in 2012.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan said she would appeal the appellate court’s decision to the state Supreme Court, suggesting Ryan forfeit his entire pension.

While he should forfeit his entire pension, the appeal may not accomplish anything, just waste Madigan’s time. She could use her time much more wisely, focusing on other important issues facing our state.

Although we don’t want money to be going toward Ryan, he will only be receiving pension that he earned as he worked as the lieutenant governor and in the general assembly.

And at the same time, there probably isn’t a valid legal argument as to why he should give up his pension.

We don’t know if he was corrupt when he held those offices, but we have to assume that he wasn’t and earned those tax dollars, regardless of his poor actions as governor.

And in the end, we have to pick our battles.

We’re just happy that he won’t be collecting the pension that he “earned” as governor.