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Family Of Fatally Beaten Suspect: Fired Cop Is Drawing Pension

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Suzanne Le Mignot Suzanne Le Mignot
Suzanne Le Mignot serves as CBS 2 Chicago’s general assignment...
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(CBS) – A family was told a North Chicago police officer was fired for taking part in the beating death of their loved one.

But CBS 2 has learned, that officer was actually fired for other reasons–like not living within the city limit.

In a CBS 2 Original Report by Suzanne LeMignot, the family of that man is furious.

“I felt hurt and I felt, and what’s the word I want to use. Bamboozled,” said Gloria Carr.

Darrin Hanna’s mother is referring to a document, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, that shows North Chicago Police Officer Brandon Yost was terminated for the residency requirement, instead of his involvement in the brutal beating death of her son in 2011.

“It was just like it was smoothed over, so the public would not know exactly what was going on,” Carr said

Hanna’s cousin, Ralph Peterson said, “You can clearly see that there was no discipline involved, and something needs to be done.”

After several investigations, the North Chicago police chief said in April of 2012, that Yost was being fired immediately for punching Hanna in the face when the officer responded to a domestic dispute.

Hanna’s death was later ruled a homicide.

“I don’t want another mother to go through what I’m going through,” Carr said.

A month before he was fired, Yost filed for disability.

A transcript of The Board of Trustees of the North Chicago Police Pension Fund meeting, from Dec. 4, 2013, shows Yost was suspended for two weeks for his involvement in the Hanna incident but not fired for it.

The document also shows Yost resigned to go on disability and was given back pay, for his two-week suspension.

It also shows Yost’s last day on the job was July 12, 2012. His union had been challenging the termination.

“He’s got no punishment, said Kevin O’Connor, the Hanna family attorney.

“He doesn’t have to work again and yet, he’s going to collect most of his salary, probably for the rest of his life, based on what they allowed him to do.”

In a statement, the City of North Chicago said they never allowed Yost to resign.

He was terminated for failure to abide by the department’s rules.

They also objected to the pension board approving his disability benefits and will appeal the decision.

The full statement from North Chicago:

The City of North Chicago strongly objects to any characterization that it allowed now former North Chicago Police officer Brandon Yost to resign or that it was complicit in efforts to help Yost attain disability benefits.

A simple review of the facts in this case illustrates the lengths the City went to terminate Yost and to voice opposition to his application for disability benefits.

The facts are as follows:

In May, 2012, The City of North Chicago, with the full support of Chief of Police James Jackson, terminated Brandon Yost for failure to abide by rules and regulations set forth by the North Chicago Police Department and the collective bargaining agreement. Yost’s termination became effective in July of 2012.

When the City learned that Yost had applied for disability benefits before his termination, it voiced is vehement objection to the pension board and urged it to deny benefits.

The City is extremely disappointed with the decision by the pension board and will file an appeal objecting to the award of any disability payments to the terminated officer.

The City of North Chicago Police Pension Board also released a statement saying:

The City of North Chicago Police Pension Board is made up of five Board members. Two Board members are appointed by the Mayor, two are police officers voted by their peers and one member is a retired police officer. The Police Pension Board has no authority to discipline or terminate police officers. The authority to discipline or terminate officers is the duty of the City. By law, the Board was created to manage the pension fund and to provide pensions to police officers. Brandon Yost filed for his disability pension before he resigned as a police officer, which pursuant to Illinois law he is allowed to do. If Yost was terminated before filing for a disability pension, under Illinois law the Pension Board would not be allowed to consider Yost’s disability pension application. The Board members reviewed all the medical evidence, including the four independent medical examinations, and Yost’s testimony of his on the job injuries before it rendered a decision. The Board has yet received any notice that the City has filed an appeal with the Circuit Court. The Board cannot comment any further on the evidence because this matter is still pending.

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