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HomeIllinois NewsComptroller's double-dipping charges on Dem challenger falls flat

Comptroller’s double-dipping charges on Dem challenger falls flat



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Leslie Munger and Susana Mendoza among comptroller candidates | Sun-Times' Tina Sfondeles 

CHICAGO – Wednesday, Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger's campaign called on Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza to pass on one of her two public pensions to make up for ten years of simultaneously taking two government paychecks.

During a Sun-Times Editorial Board meeting Thursday, Mendoza defended herself against Munger's charges, showing a 2002 memo in which Mendoza specified to the City that her pay be "docked" for the dates the Illinois House met.

Munger campaign manager Phil Rodriguez's accusations about double-dipping were fierce against Mendoza.

"Susana Mendoza voted for the unbalanced budgets, tax increases and pension holidays that put Illinois in fiscal crisis," Rodriguez said. "At the same time she picked up two paychecks and sweetened her two pensions. It embodies all the problems that have led us to this place."  

Rodriguez said Mendoza started working for the City of Chicago in 1998 as a Project Coordinator, in 2000, she won a Party Primary for State Representative and received a 33 percent raise for her city job a month later. She then served ten years in the General Assembly, all the while remaining on the city and state payrolls.

All that's true, Mendoza said Thursday, except the Munger campaign omitted that Mendoza specified to the city that she not be paid for the days she was in Springfield. 

Mendoza's campaign tweeted these comments during the Sun-Times interview Thursday: 

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During the Sun-Times interview, Mendoza criticized how Munger is prioritizing payments, specifically bestowing bonuses on the Illinois Department of Transportation employees while delaying to pay fees to human services providers. 

Illinois Review asked Rodriguez to provide data to back up the campaign's claims, and he did not respond responded after this story's publication. (See below) 

"It's time for a change," Rodriguez said. "Leslie Munger spent her career balancing budgets and meeting financial expectations. She has dedicated nearly two decades to served developmentally disabled adults. She doesn't accept a public pension or state health care benefits. The contrast could not be clearer." 

Because Rodriguez mentioned that Munger was rejecting state health care benefits, Illinois Review asked how her health care insurance was provided. He did not respond responded with an answer after publication. Ms. Munger is on her husband's health care insurance, he said in an emailed message.

Rodriguez provided the following information:

Ms. Mendoza's pension contributions over 16 years:  Download Mendoza_Pension_1stPension_16yearscontributions

The amount Mendoza accumulated from her Illinois General Assembly paycheck through 2010:

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Rodriguez said the campaign found that:

  • Mendoza paid $66,034.92 into the General Assembly pension system between 2000 and 2011.
  • Mendoza has not applied for pension reciprocity, but will be eligible to do so at retirement. She is eligible for reciprocity as GARS and MEABF are reciprocal systems as defined by the IL Reciprocal Act.
  • Mendoza's GARS service credits total $2.467.03 and could be payable as early as May of 2027.
  • Mendoza contributed at the rate of 9.5% of salary, which did not include the amount required to qualify potential eligible survivors. To qualify eligible survivors for survivor benefits, she would have need to contribute at the rate of 11.5%. Ms. Mendoza opted out of making such survivor’s benefit contributions.


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