By Adam Andrzejewski -
The retiring executive director of the Illinois State Board of Investment (ISBI), William Atwood, received a $136,577 special gift after a 15-year career at the 4th largest pension fund. Atwood cashed in 144 days of unused vacation time last week. So much for fiscal accountability.
Atwood announced retirement via press release on June 29, effective immediately. Atwood had banked 144 unused vacation days. Under the Illinois Personnel Code, state employees are able to cash in 50 days of unused vacation time upon retiring. We thought these rules applied to Atwood, too, but that wasn’t the case.
Over the first seven years of his employment (2003-2010), Atwood accrued 144 days of unused vacation time. In 2010, the ISBI board carved out an exception for Atwood, capping his vacation bank at 144 days rather than 50.
Atwood was already receiving one of the largest salaries in the state. In 2005, Atwood received $186,750. By 2017, his salary had increased to $246,200 – the 32nd largest salary among nearly 75,000 disclosed state employees. In 2018, Atwood received six months’ compensation plus his cashed in vacation bank ($136,577) for a total $269,900.
It’s a classic case of Illinois insiders and politically powerful profiting at the expense of regular people. There are 142,000 public employee beneficiaries of this pension fund.
Illinois citizens are tired of taxpayer abuse, golden parachutes, and huge payouts on their dime. No public employees deserve a six-figure parting gift at termination or retirement.