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GOP criticizes pension loophole

SPRINGFIELD -- Republican leaders take aim at House Speaker Mike Madigan in the fight over pension reform.
SPRINGFIELD -- Republican leaders take aim at House Speaker Mike Madigan in the fight over pension reform. This time it's for one of his former aides collecting thousands of dollars.

They say it's all thanks to a law Madigan sponsored. GOP Chairman Pat Brady says it's not right. He's demanding Gail Purkey return her pension.

The Chicago Tribune reports she's collecting a $100,000/year pension because of a law Madigan sponsored in 2007. It allowed her to join the state's retirement system even though she didn't put in enough years on the job.

Critics think the law was part of an inside deal. Political Science professor Kent Redfield says it definitely raises suspicion. The Trib reports she worked for the sate for several years before leaving to join the Illinois Federation of Teachers Union. It allowed her to buy pension credit to get the pay out.

Madigan's rep says she met all the requirements under state law, and for GOP Chairman Brady to ask her to return the money is a "fool's idea."
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