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Saturday, December 7, 2019

East St. Louis pensioners paid $2.4 million into fund, have collected $36 million

Local Government

By LGIS News Service | Sep 23, 2019

City of East St. Louis

City of East St. Louis taxpayers have paid out nearly $36 million in pension benefits to 53 retired firefighters who contributed a collective $2.38 million to the retirement fund.

That’s according to an analysis of East St. Louis Fire Pension Fund records by Local Government Information Services, which publishes the Metro East Sun.

Of 53 East St. Louis fire retirees, 20 contributed zero to their pension fund. Those firemen, who retired from the department between 1979 and 2008,  have already collected $16.9 million in benefits from taxpayers.

East St. Louis Mayor Robert Eastern III

The 33 firemen who did contribute to the pension fund saved an average of $72,108 and have already collected an average of $575,960 in benefits, or eight times what they put into the fund. They have retirement dates between 1998 and 2017.

Over 30 years of retirement, the LGIS analysis shows, the 33 will receive an average of $2,054,545 each, more than 28 times what they put in.

The analysis comes on the heels of a vote by the East St. Louis Fire Pension board to petition the state to let it intercept $2.3 million in state payments from the city to make ends meet.

In 2018, East St. Louis taxpayers contributed $2.029 million to subsidize the fund, which lost $248,555 on its investments while paying out $3.78 million in benefits and expenses.

According to state filings, the fund had $5.59 million in assets as of Dec. 31, 2018.

Who are the retirees?

LGIS researched the 53 fire department retirees receiving these benefits, most of whom started work for East St. Louis in the 1960s and 1970s, when the town was larger and still had an industrial base.

East St. Louis’ population has fallen from 81,728 in 1960 to 26,346 today, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The retirees were promised lifetime retirements, though most weren't asked to contribute to the fund at all, much less at a level required to keep such a promise. 

East St. Louis Fire Pension Board Chairman Johnnie Anthony joined the department in September 1972. He worked 30 years and four months, retiring in 2003, putting a total of $65,409 in the fund, an average of $179 per month over his career.

Anthony, who lives in Belleville where he has served as a city alderman for 14 years and the city’s fire and police commissioner for 10 years, has already taken out $809,117, according to the LGIS analysis, or 12 times his contribution. Over 30 years of retirement, he will collect $1.909 million, nearly 30 times what he saved.

Pension Board Trustee William H. Fennoy III joined the fire department in March 1972 and served 37 years, the last nine as East St. Louis’ fire chief (2001-09). He contributed $104,484 to the fund, or about $230 per month over his career.

Fennoy has collected $649,019 over 10 years of retirement and stands to collect $2.693 million from East St. Louis taxpayers over 30 years, more than 25 times what he put in.

Fennoy’s son, Mario Fennoy, was indicted in June for allegedly taking overtime pay he didn’t earn.

Fellow Trustee Darryl Grimmett Sr. of O’Fallon retired from the department after 30 years and two months in December 2009. He contributed $83,354 into the pension fund; over eight years of retirement, he had taken out $547,180. East St. Louis taxpayers will pay $2.56 million for Grimmett’s retirement, according to the LGIS analysis.

Daniel Haskenhoff of Belleville joined the East St. Louis Fire Department in February 1978, and worked 27 years and one month. He retired in Jan. 2010 and collected an estimated $513,350 over his first eight years of retirement, receiving approximately $62,000 last year from East St. Louis taxpayers.

Haskenhoff, 64, currently serves as chief deputy coroner for St. Clair County where he earns $60,397 per year.

LGIS analyzed Illinois Department of Insurance filings by the East St. Louis Fire Pension fund to calculate estimated total benefits paid to 53 active retirees receiving money from the fund. Below are its findings:


East St. Louis Fire Pension Fund: By the Numbers

NameYear RetiredTotal ContributedTotal Already CollectedEstimated Lifetime CollectionContribution Deficit
Paul Brummer, Jr.1979$0$613,761$425,331$425,331
Richard Temple1981$0$1,051,500$1,146,401$1,146,401
Clarence Ellis, Jr.1985$0$731,730$876,596$876,596
James Kidd1985$0$965,884$1,157,107$1,157,107
Devoris Howard1989$0$922,868$1,119,850$1,119,850
Elmer Jones1989$0$2,128,286$2,582,559$2,582,559
Charles King1989$0$1,057,697$1,283,457$1,283,457
Joseph Majka, Jr.1989$0$901,078$1,093,410$1,093,410
Leverse Brooks1991$0$1,058,762$1,173,305$1,173,305
Neumon Stroter, Jr.1992$0$797,950$932,526$932,526
Raymond Maxwell1992$0$788,627$921,631$921,631
Richard Lay1993$0$723,872$893,276$893,276
Norman Stevens1993$0$829,816$1,024,013$1,024,013
Frank Daily1995$0$647,872$895,322$895,322
Marvin Jackson1995$0$646,013$892,753$892,753
Luther Brooks1996$0$724,997$1,062,835$1,062,835
Ronald Brown1997$0$865,199$1,347,954$1,347,954
Claude Hubbard1997$0$932,288$1,452,477$1,452,477
George Smith, Jr.1998$44,945$892,842$1,481,261$1,436,316
Donald Norfleet1998$45,014$721,558$1,197,093$1,152,079
Robert Bush1998$48,509$947,787$1,572,415$1,523,906
Jesse Swift1998$49,967$961,092$1,594,490$1,544,523
William Harrington1998$50,090$970,957$1,610,856$1,560,766
Garland Edmonds1998$52,894$1,027,364$1,704,437$1,651,543
Frank Gardner1998$54,032$1,054,492$1,749,443$1,695,411
Jerry Humphrey, Jr.1999$52,745$1,183,586$2,095,602$2,042,857
Verge Riley1999$60,061$1,303,052$2,307,122$2,247,061
Raymond Mix, Jr.2000$61,126$1,054,557$1,997,501$1,936,375
William Nelson2001$67,127$1,064,420$2,162,778$2,095,651
Hearie Eastern2002$42,052$359,482$1,923,284$1,881,232
Johnnie Anthony2003$65,409$809,117$1,909,725$1,844,316
Keith Rice2004$28,048$215,759$1,010,407$982,359
Herman Bauer2007$0$203,641$682,660$682,660
Alfred McGlown2008$0$296,142$1,100,039$1,100,039
Darryl Grimmett2009$88,526$626,020$2,597,998$2,509,472
William Fennoy, III2009$104,484$649,016$2,693,435$2,588,951
Paul Harris2010$79,094$463,519$2,170,676$2,091,582
Daniel Haskenhoff2010$79,686$513,350$2,404,033$2,324,347
Thomas Grimmett2010$83,354$547,180$2,562,459$2,479,105
Gerald Hopkins2010$87,389$511,856$2,397,040$2,309,651
Ivory Williams2011$95,488$461,477$2,468,974$2,373,486
Perry Young2012$87,326$329,064$1,541,015$1,453,689
Charles Welch2012$99,599$397,651$2,468,974$2,369,375
Bobby Cole, Jr.2013$3,940$321,769$1,506,856$1,502,916
Kelvin Searcy2014$66,473$360,575$1,929,136$1,862,663
Larry Hopkins2014$79,133$399,951$2,139,799$2,060,666
William Clossen2014$86,506$208,309$1,866,669$1,780,163
Michael Dill2016$122,490$192,869$2,968,658$2,846,168
Todd Hill2017$72,345$116,465$2,729,497$2,657,152
Daryn Foster2017$101,242$83,506$1,957,062$1,855,820
Broderick Hawkins2017$107,605$100,735$2,360,835$2,253,230
Terrance Stacker2017$115,398$115,410$2,704,758$2,589,360
Thomas Brock2018$97,478$42,176$2,006,541$1,909,063

Source: Illinois Department of Insurance; Public records

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