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Jesse Jackson Plans To Sue To Block Burge Pension

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Jon Burge

Former Chicago Police Lt. Jon Burge (Credit: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Rev. Jesse Jackson said Saturday that he plans to file a lawsuit seeking to strip former Chicago Police Lt. Jon Burge of his pension.

The Chicago Police pension board split 4-4 on whether to allow Burge, who was convicted for lying about police torture under his watch, to continue receiving the payouts. Five votes were required to strip him of his pension.

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Jackson said Saturday that he will file a lawsuit over that vote because Illinois state law states pension benefits shall not be paid to public officials “convicted of any felony relating to or arising out of or in connection with service as a firefighter.”

The board members who voted in Burge’s favor decided that his conviction was not directly related to his work as a police officer.

The four board members who voted in Burge’s favor are current or former cops elected by Chicago police officers: Kenneth Hauser, Michael Lazzaro, James Maloney, and Michael Shields. The four who voted against Burge were appointed by Mayor Richard Daley: Michael Conway, Steven Lux, Stephanie Neely and Gene Saffold.

Jackson and activist Mark Clements, an alleged torture victim who served 28 years in prison for a murder he says he didn’t commit, blasted the board’s decision on Saturday.

Clements said that he is going to consult with lawyers because he was told by the head of the police board that he and others who claim they were tortured would be able to testify at the hearing. Instead, he was not told when the hearing was going to take place.

Burge was convicted of lying about the torture and has since been sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison.

Since he was fired from the Chicago Police Department in 1993, Burge’s name has become synonymous with police brutality in Chicago.

Dozens of suspects have accused Burge and the detectives under his command of shocking them with a homemade electrical device, suffocating them with typewriter bags, putting guns to their head and playing Russian roulette — all to force them to confess to murders they didn’t commit.

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