The Rita Family In Line For 6 Governm...

The Rita Family In Line For 6 Government Pensions

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Their Just Greedy

Blue Island, IL

#1 Nov 4, 2013
2 Blue Island brothers in line for 6 government pensions
BY ANDREW SCHROEDTER Better Government Association November 4, 2013 12:03AM
New Blue Island mayor
gives jobs, deals to insiders
Since taking office in May, new Blue Island Mayor Domingo Vargas has given two newly created city jobs to campaign supporters and handed no-bid contracts to political allies.
Vargas, a former Blue Island alderman, appointed campaign contributor John Rita Jr. as director of public safety, a new post that pays $90,000 a year to oversee the south suburb’s police and fire departments. Rita and his brother, state Rep. Robert Rita (D-Blue Island), were unpaid campaign advisers to Vargas, who ran as a member of the new Blue Island Independent Party with the backing of the Rita brothers.
Other moves under Vargas include:
◆ Hiring Mesirow Financial to procure new health insurance coverage for municipal employees through Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Illinois. Mesirow employs Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s son Andrew Madigan, who worked with Blue Island officials on the no-bid deal. Approved Aug. 29, it will cost the city $2.3 million a year. Robert Rita, a politcal ally of the House speaker, says he vouched for Mesirow to city officials. The firm’s commission was $39,000, according to City Clerk Randy Heuser.
◆ Hiring Vargas campaign volunteer Don Marchbanks as director of the Blue Island Emergency Management Agency, which handles traffic and crowd control at public events. This previously was an unpaid position. Marchbanks was given a $12,000-a-year salary.
◆ Awarded a no-bid contract to a Chicago law firm that employs state Rep. Chris Welch (D-Westchester) and Welch’s wife, ShawnTe Raines, who was named Blue Island’s city attorney after Vargas took office. Raines is to be paid $185 an hour, billing the city as an independent contractor.
“I’m not here to win a popularity contest,” says Vargas.“I’m here to bring change to this town.”
It’s no longer a surprise to hear about double-dippers — public servants who’ve managed to carve out two government paychecks or pensions for themselves.
But state Rep. Robert Rita (D-Blue Island) and his brother John Rita Jr. could one-up that, each one day receiving three separate taxpayer-funded pensions, a total of six between them.
“Yes, it’s unusual,” Robert Rita says.“But it’s not like we’re doing this because of the pensions. I’m from a family that’s dedicated to public service.”
The Ritas are Blue Island’s own version of Chicago’s Daleys. The brothers’ late father, John Rita Sr., was mayor of the south suburb. Their mother, Rose Rita, also now dead, was an alderman and Calumet Township supervisor.
Their sister Nancy Rita, 49, is a Blue Island alderman and also an administrative assistant in the office of Cook County Chief Circuit Judge Timothy Evans — a $62,695-a-year county job that will one day provide her with a pension.
As a legislator, Robert Rita, 44, made $74,569 last year. He is also Calumet Township supervisor, making $67,000 a year after a 23 percent pay raise he got in June.
Until February, he also had a job as an administrative analyst with the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways, making $93,423 a year, though he didn’t get paid when he took time off to handle legislative matters.
Rita is vested in Cook County’s government pension plan and also in retirement plans covering the Illinois General Assembly and the state’s township governments.
If Robert Rita starts collecting his legislative, township and county pensions at 60, his total take-home could top $118,000 a year.
The biggest chunk of that would be the retirement pay he’ll get for his work as a legislator, an estimated $63,000 a year, followed by a $28,000-a-year township pension paid through the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund,and a county pension of $27,000. Those calculations are based on Rita serving at least another decade as a state representative and township supervisor.
Their Just Greedy

Blue Island, IL

#2 Nov 4, 2013
They don’t take into account any future pay raises he might get.

His brother, now 61, is a retired Cook County sheriff’s commander now working for the city of Blue Island. John Rita Jr. already gets a county pension of $90,588 a year, based on the 32 years he was a sheriff’s employee, records show.

He also is eligible for but hasn’t yet begun collecting a second pension, this one from the State Employees’ Retirement System, or SERS, based on the nearly 10 years he worked as an administrator for state-government youth centers in Chicago and Joliet, a job that paid $85,644 a year. His starting SERS pension would be more than $13,000 a year.

When John Rita Jr. left county government, he was appointed by new Blue Island Mayor Domingo Vargas to a $90,000-a-year post as the city’s director of public safety in July. That put him in line for a third government pension if he works for the city at least eight years.

The Rita brothers had campaigned for the mayor, who was elected in April. John Rita Jr. gave $1,000 to a Vargas-linked campaign fund but says that wasn’t in hopes of any payback.

“I know what it looks like,” he says
Conflict of Interest

Maywood, IL

#3 Nov 4, 2013
Time to Move On to the Township Connections.
Employees and Elected Officials and how they are connected.
Exposed

Maywood, IL

#4 Nov 4, 2013
They never thought they would be EXPOSED!
Love BI

Hebron, IL

#5 Nov 4, 2013
Vargas is a puppet. And not even a good one.
BIIP Cash Cow

United States

#6 Nov 4, 2013
Ethics Violations, Conflicts of Interest, an attorney knows better.
Should Know Better

United States

#7 Nov 4, 2013
Between the city, high school, college, park district and grammar school there are approximately 2,000 jobs and tens of millions in government contracts.
No Bid Contracts Serve Special Interests not People.
local

Alsip, IL

#8 Nov 4, 2013
Are there any Rita's on Midlo's payroll?
Mayberry

Oak Lawn, IL

#9 Nov 4, 2013
Love BI wrote:
Vargas is a puppet. And not even a good one.
He's keeping the seat warm for the next Mayor.
WOW

Loganville, GA

#10 Nov 4, 2013
local wrote:
Are there any Rita's on Midlo's payroll?
Don't you think Terry had enough people on the payroll? We sure don't need anyone that's already getting 3 pensions!
wish i were gone

Chicago, IL

#11 Nov 4, 2013
The politics of the Rita family make me wish I could afford to move out of Blue Island even more! Disgusting!
Bill

Blue Island, IL

#12 Nov 4, 2013
Bill Ryan
They apparently learned their thievery from Mommy and Daddy Rita---thieves themselves. Thieving off the public---this isnt "public service", its public thievery.

Rita name should be outlawed from any more Public Sector jobs....and cursed anytime the name is mentioned. Quinn---used the Rita name anytime you want to illustrate how broken the Pension system is in this State, County, and even City level---all paid for by Illinois taxpayers and residents.

401k's for the whole lot of them---just like about the 95% of the rest of us...this defined pension plan stuff died decades ago in the real world---its time to kill it in the Public Sector world...

Rita's are the example of why...patronage, family/friends stuff to get set for a lifetime or in their case, 3 lifetimes a piece.
wow

Blue Island, IL

#13 Nov 5, 2013
Bill wrote:
Bill Ryan
They apparently learned their thievery from Mommy and Daddy Rita---thieves themselves. Thieving off the public---this isnt "public service", its public thievery.
Rita name should be outlawed from any more Public Sector jobs....and cursed anytime the name is mentioned. Quinn---used the Rita name anytime you want to illustrate how broken the Pension system is in this State, County, and even City level---all paid for by Illinois taxpayers and residents.
401k's for the whole lot of them---just like about the 95% of the rest of us...this defined pension plan stuff died decades ago in the real world---its time to kill it in the Public Sector world...
Rita's are the example of why...patronage, family/friends stuff to get set for a lifetime or in their case, 3 lifetimes a piece.
Mayor Vargas believes this is all right! He believes, nothing wrong with this pension formula! As long as he can have his Monday night car shows, everything is cool!
THANK YOU BGA

Blue Island, IL

#14 Nov 5, 2013
A huge THANK YOU to the BGA. It is so important for what you have done. Please do not STOP with this! There is much more corruption waiting to be exposed in Blue Island. Anything Bob Rita is involved with should be vetted. His Calumet Township Government should be high on your list of investigations. This will not be a waste of your time.
Next Step

Blue Island, IL

#15 Nov 5, 2013
THANK YOU BGA wrote:
A huge THANK YOU to the BGA. It is so important for what you have done. Please do not STOP with this! There is much more corruption waiting to be exposed in Blue Island. Anything Bob Rita is involved with should be vetted. His Calumet Township Government should be high on your list of investigations. This will not be a waste of your time.
Yes, good job BGA. Now, what will be done about this abuse of taxpayer money?
Bomb Shell

Maywood, IL

#16 Nov 5, 2013
New Blue Island mayor 
gives jobs, deals to insiders

Since taking office in May, new Blue Island Mayor Domingo Vargas has given two newly created city jobs to campaign supporters and handed no-bid contracts to political allies.

Vargas, a former Blue Island alderman, appointed campaign contributor John Rita Jr. as director of public safety, a new post that pays $90,000 a year to oversee the south suburb’s police and fire departments. Rita and his brother, state Rep. Robert Rita (D-Blue Island), were unpaid campaign advisers to Vargas, who ran as a member of the new Blue Island Independent Party with the backing of the Rita brothers.

Other moves under Vargas include:

* Hiring Mesirow Financial to procure new health insurance coverage for municipal employees through Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Illinois. Mesirow employs Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s son Andrew Madigan, who worked with Blue Island officials on the no-bid deal. Approved Aug. 29, it will cost the city $2.3 million a year. Robert Rita, a politcal ally of the House speaker, says he vouched for Mesirow to city officials. The firm’s commission was $39,000, according to City Clerk Randy Heuser.

* Hiring Vargas campaign volunteer Don Marchbanks as director of the Blue Island Emergency Management Agency, which handles traffic and crowd control at public events. This previously was an unpaid position. Marchbanks was given a $12,000-a-year salary.

* Awarded a no-bid contract to a Chicago law firm that employs state Rep. Chris Welch (D-Westchester) and Welch’s wife, ShawnTe Raines, who was named Blue Island’s city attorney after Vargas took office. Raines is to be paid $185 an hour, billing the city as an independent contractor.

“I’m not here to win a popularity contest,” says Vargas.“I’m here to bring change to this town.”

These actions do not serve the public, period. Vargas an attorney knows better.
And there is SO MUCH MUCH MORE.
Bar Association

Blue Island, IL

#17 Nov 5, 2013
GED= 3 pensions
Full Council Hearings

Maywood, IL

#18 Nov 5, 2013
Bomb Shell wrote:
New Blue Island mayor 
gives jobs, deals to insiders
Since taking office in May, new Blue Island Mayor Domingo Vargas has given two newly created city jobs to campaign supporters and handed no-bid contracts to political allies.
Vargas, a former Blue Island alderman, appointed campaign contributor John Rita Jr. as director of public safety, a new post that pays $90,000 a year to oversee the south suburb’s police and fire departments. Rita and his brother, state Rep. Robert Rita (D-Blue Island), were unpaid campaign advisers to Vargas, who ran as a member of the new Blue Island Independent Party with the backing of the Rita brothers.
Other moves under Vargas include:
* Hiring Mesirow Financial to procure new health insurance coverage for municipal employees through Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Illinois. Mesirow employs Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s son Andrew Madigan, who worked with Blue Island officials on the no-bid deal. Approved Aug. 29, it will cost the city $2.3 million a year. Robert Rita, a politcal ally of the House speaker, says he vouched for Mesirow to city officials. The firm’s commission was $39,000, according to City Clerk Randy Heuser.
* Hiring Vargas campaign volunteer Don Marchbanks as director of the Blue Island Emergency Management Agency, which handles traffic and crowd control at public events. This previously was an unpaid position. Marchbanks was given a $12,000-a-year salary.
* Awarded a no-bid contract to a Chicago law firm that employs state Rep. Chris Welch (D-Westchester) and Welch’s wife, ShawnTe Raines, who was named Blue Island’s city attorney after Vargas took office. Raines is to be paid $185 an hour, billing the city as an independent contractor.
“I’m not here to win a popularity contest,” says Vargas.“I’m here to bring change to this town.”
These actions do not serve the public, period. Vargas an attorney knows better.
And there is SO MUCH MUCH MORE.
Blue Island City Council to schedule FULL CITY COUNCIL HEARINGS to ADDRESS CONFLICT of INTEREST, NO BID CONTRACTS, PET PROJECTS, POLITICAL APPOINTMENTS, CONNECTIONS, and ETHICS ISSUES.
dont get it

Blue Island, IL

#19 Nov 5, 2013
I don't understand why the complaining, I'm confused. They both worked for it so why are they not entitled to it? If I worked for it I would want to collect on it later. Am I missing something?
Very Serious

United States

#21 Nov 5, 2013
Rita Madigan Patronage wrote:
Blue Island had been self-insured, and last fiscal year its health care costs totaled $2.1 million, or $200,000 less than what the city will pay under the new deal.
Heuser called that an anomaly and says, "We happened to have a good claim year. But who wants to gamble?" In 2011 and 2012 the city’s health care costs totaled $2.9 million and $2.7 million respectively, he says.
The new contract is with health insurance giant BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois. Mesirow was Blue Island’s broker, essentially acting as a middleman between the city and the insurer. Mesirow’s commission is $39,000, Heuser says.
On Aug. 29, the city council approved the contract with BlueCross BlueShield.
The vote culminated a process that began shortly after the election when city officials, at Heuser’s suggestion, privately decided to switch insurance.
The city could have gone through a competitive bidding process to hire a broker. But instead, Heuser this summer contacted Mesirow’s Andrew Madigan, the son of the powerful Illinois House speaker.
The scenario follows a pattern of Chicago-area towns with direct or indirect ties to the elder Madigan doing business with his son and Mesirow.
In this case, Michael Madigan and Robert Rita are political allies and Robert Rita has strong ties to Blue Island. Political committees controlled by Michael Madigan have donated more than $73,000 to Robert Rita’s campaign funds since 2004, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Andrew Madigan didn’t return calls. A spokesman for Speaker Madigan had no comment.
Robert Rita says he knows Andrew Madigan and even told city officials "Mesirow is a good company." But he denies having lobbied Blue Island to use the firm.
"I care about this town," Robert Rita says. "I want to make sure it’s going in the right direction." But, "I have no involvement in the day-to-day operations."
This story was written and reported by the Better Government Association’s Andrew Schroedter
Why would anyone think these actions would be over looked?

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