BOLINGBROOK, Ill (CBS) — Officials in southwest suburban Bolingbrook could begin an effort to strip former cop Drew Peterson of his pension, following his conviction for killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports the Bolingbrook Police Pension Board was meeting Thursday to determine whether it should begin forfeiture proceedings against Peterson, who retired as a police sergeant in 2007.
In order to revoke Peterson’s $79,000-a-year police pension, the board would have to show he used his police skills or powers to kill Savio in 2004.
Peterson’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, said there’s no evidence to support such an argument.
“There’s nothing in this case, there was no evidence at trial, there’s nothing in the police reports to indicate that at any point Peterson used his position as a police officer in any way in relation to this case,” he said.
Greenberg said the money from Peterson’s pension has been going to support his children, and if it were taken away, they would become wards of the state.
“This isn’t money that’s going to Drew Peterson in any way, shape, or form. It’s not even going to buy him Cheetos at the commissary at the prison,” Greenberg said.
He also said it would set a dangerous precedent.
“Basically, if they take his pension, they’ll be saying anytime a public official gets in trouble, the pension’s fair game,” Greenberg said. “Part of the problem is there’s all this pressure to come down on Drew Peterson, but there’s all these collateral consequences if you do that.”
According to news reports, an attorney hired by the village reviewed trial transcripts has sent a letter to village officials saying there’s evidence to support terminating Peterson’s pension.
In September 2012, a jury convicted Peterson of first-degree murder in Savio’s death. Prosecutors had said Peterson drowned Savio in her bathtub, in part because he didn’t want her to get a share of his pension in their pending divorce.
Peterson also has been named as a suspect in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy. She is presumed dead and has yet to be found. Peterson has not been charged with any crime in connection to her disappearance.