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Resolution 2012-01 ..................................

The Directors Corner ............................... 3
Message from the President..................... 3
Message from the President-Elect ............ 4
Coalition for Qualified Plan Status Update ... 5
Department of Insurance Opinions ........... 6
Pension Underfunding Crisis Still Looms .. 7
Court Cases - A Legal Update .................. 8
Years of Cover Up12
Washington Park Compliance Hearing ....... 8
Courage to be Safe - Everyone Goes Home .. 14
2013 Spring Pension Seminar .................. 14
Motorola Grants Help with I.F.S.I. Tuition . 15
I. F. S. I. Update ....................................... 16
Membership Updates ............................... 17
FF Medal of Honor Ceremony .................. 19
Illinois State Fair.20
Friday May 3 Gold Spring Pension

Wed. May 8 Red Board Meeting

Sat. Aug. 10 Gold I.P.F.A. Day at
the State Fair

Wed. Aug. 14 Black Board Meeting

Wed. Oct. 9 Gold Annual Meeting

Friday Nov. 1 Red Fall Pension
Size-Up Editor Terry Cox gives Ralph
Webster, chairman of the Courage to be
Safe Task Force, I.P.F.A. Resolution 2012-
01 at a recent IFSI Advisory meeting held
at the Fire Service Institute in Champaign.
The Resolution is shown on page 2 of this
issue. A related article also appears on
page 14.


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- 3 -

Greg Knoll, Executive Director

Our 2012 seminars both saw increased attendance and
exhibitor registration over 2011 levels. We enjoyed
hearing from Senator Kirk Dillard at the spring seminar
and look forward to the upcoming spring seminar on a
gold shift, Friday, May 3rd. Look for detailed information
in the March mailing. Remember that seminar topics
come from our membership and those who attend
previous seminars and complete their response forms.
Write or e-mail us your suggestions for future seminars.

Membership has remained at the same level. I want to
thank all of you who have paid 2013 dues in a timely
manner. Prompt dues payments keeps Association
expenses down.

The O.S.F.M. is working towards an update to the Life
Safety Code. There are still too many fire service and
civilian injuries and deaths. An update to this code will
provide for a safer environment for the citizens we
protect. The Illinois Fire Service Institute saw a change
in Directors. The Advisory Committee had input in the
selection process, and we welcome Royal Mortenson as
the new Director. He continues the same strong attitude
about training and education.

The biggest issue facing I.P.F.A. and all public sector
employees in Illinois is pensions. You will see a
concentration about this topic in this and future Size-
Ups. We mailed all I.P.F.A. members, and all Illinois fire
and police pension fund secretaries the information
about Proposition 49. The constitutional amendment did
not pass.

We began an educational effort at the spring 2012
seminar concerning all public pensions in Illinois.
Everyone needs to know that there are 18 public
retirement systems in the state, funded by 4 major
groups. The issue affecting the States budget and bond
rating only applies to the 5 systems funded by the state:
downstate teachers, state employees, state university
employees, the General Assembly, and the judges
retirement system.

Cook County funds three systems and the City of
Chicago funds seven systems. That leaves the three
Other Government financed systems: Article 3
(downstate police), Article 4 (downstate fire) and Illinois
Municipal Retirement System that covers local
government employees.

Everyone also needs to know the I.P.F.A. maintains a
database that shows the individual funding levels for
every Article 4 fund in the state. If you would like a copy
of the spreadsheet showing the status of the 18 state
retirement systems, or a copy of your funds individual
funding history just contact the office.

This issue leads with Courage to be Safe. Read the
Resolution because I believe the data shows all of us we
need to take responsibility for ourselves, what we do,
and how we do it.

I end with the same closing I need to hear how you
feel about I.P.F.A. and how we are doing. Let me know
and I promise you the Board will be notified and you will
get a response. Be safe, take care of your partners, and
have fun.


Timothy S. Clemens, Board President

This will be the last message from me, as I have served
two terms as President of the Association. The By-Laws
only allow for two consecutive terms as President. Tony
Novak will be taking over the reins as President of the
Illinois Professional Firefighters Association at our
February Board meeting. I will still be involved as Vice-
President and am still interested in assisting Greg Knoll
and Tony with the operations of the Association.

This past year has seen many pension attacks: on the
news, in the papers, on the radio, and in many towns,
cities, and villages. Our Association has spent
considerable time and expense in meetings and on the
phone trying to keep the Legislature from punishing us
for some of the municipalities or districts failure to fund
our pensions. During the Lame Duck session we were
fortunate enough not to be on the table, but we were
vigilant and kept track of any legislation that remotely
smelled like changes to our pensions.

We now have some new faces to meet and some
educating to do with the new Legislators. We know that
reform, in one form or another, will be coming. We will
be doing our best to minimize its impact, if any, on
Article 4 Pensions.

As always, your Association will continue its duty as your
pension protectors.

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Tony Novak, 2013 Board President

Happy New Year to you, your families and friends. My
name is Tony Novak, retired Fire Lieutenant from North
Riverside Fire Department. I was a paid-on-call for 5
years and full-time for 23 years. I like helping people and
loved the fire service. Every day was different at the
station, some days busier than others. Bottom line, we
all love helping people, that is why we became
firefighters. I started full-time in November 1974. My
Chiefs' name was Leroy Bensfield. My first day on the
job, Chief Bensfield called me into his office. He told me
that my first priority was to be a good firefighter and do
my job well. The second priority was to get involved with
the fire pension fund and to protect our pension rights
and benefits. At the time, I had no clue what was
involved, other than I would receive a pension after I
retired from the fire service.

In January 1975, I joined I.P.F.A. and Gene Baker was
the director at the time. I enjoyed reading the Size-Up
and attending the annual pension seminar in November
each year. I met many new people at the seminar each
year and learned very valuable information. I knew I
could call the I.P.F.A. office anytime if I had a question
for our department. I quickly understood what Chief
Bensfield told me. The fire pension fund is very valuable
and everyone needs to know how it works, understand
the pension laws, invest the fund's money wisely and
protect the fire pension system for disabled firefighters,
current and future retirees. Within a few years I was
elected to our pension board. I was very active as a
board member and devoted much of my time learning
and protecting our pension fund. I was a board member
for 16 years and passed on pension information to the
members of my department. When one of our
firefighters showed interest in becoming a board
member, I decided not to run for re-election. I thought it
would be a good idea to help new board members while
I was still active. This way, when I retired, I knew our
pension board would be in good hands. All our board
members felt the same way. Let's help train new board
members before we retire.

Many of us did not take a lot of interest in our pension
fund when we first started on the job. Even after being
on the job for a while, we did not know what our benefits
were, or understood the pension laws and many of us
would never consider being on the pension board.
People would say it is always easier for the next person
to be on the board, or I am far too busy to devote any
time to be a board member, especially now with all the
certification hours that are required. Please do not think
like that and fall into that trap. I think there are people
out there hoping that firefighters get discouraged and
decide not to be board members. If that happened, we

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would lose control and someone else, who we do not
know, would be making the decision for our future and
our families.

In 1979, North Riverside Fire Department chartered our
Union, IAFF Local 2714. It was a long time coming, but
we finally made it. Local 2714 provided better wages,
benefits and working conditions. At that time some
members said, now that we are union, there is no need
to be a member of I.P.F.A. I disagreed- I.P.F.A. is our
pension protector. This organization devotes 100% of
their efforts for our pension benefits. The annual dues
are very reasonable: Active- $60, Retired- $30,
Disabled- $30. Group dues are also available with a
savings of 10%. Your foreign fire tax money may be
used to pay for group dues. It makes good sense to
have as many organizations as possible to fight for our
pension benefits. If we don't fight for ourselves, no one
else will. Remember, our pension benefits also cover our
spouses and dependants. Illinois firefighter pension
system is one of the best in our nation. Let's all stick
together so we can keep it one of the best systems.

In 1990, Jack Cadagin, I.P.F.A. Board member, called
me and asked me to meet with him. I had known Jack
for several years now. He said, Tony, we need younger
people like yourself to help out and become active with
the I.P.F.A. board. Board members do not last forever.
Hearing that from Jack made very good sense- how can
anyone dispute that fact? I chose to become a very
active I.P.F.A. board member 23 years ago and I am still
very active today. Jack Cadagin is right; we always need
new people to get involved. Now I am asking all of you to
consider being an I.P.F.A. board member. We can
always use your ideas and help in running the I.P.F.A.
office. We have been in existence for over 50 years and
still going strong. If you are interested in filling this
obligation, please contact the I.P.F.A. office today.


Gregory Knoll, I.P.F.A. Executive Director

In 2008 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) raised
concerns about downstate pension funds meeting the
definition of a qualified pension plan. The IRS is
responsible for reviewing the statutes and administrative
rules of the pension funds to determine if they comply
with federal regulations. The major impact of this review
was maintaining the ability for active fund participants to
make pre-tax contributions to the fund.

Two choices were considered to comply with the IRS
requirements deadline of January 31, 2009. The first
was to have each of the over 600 Article 3 and 4 funds
obtain individual determination letters stating that the
plan was qualified. The other was to form a coalition of
downstate fire and police funds. This coalition of funds
would provide a large economy of scale to provide
funding to obtain and maintain qualified plan status for
all downstate firefighter and police pension funds. The
Coalition was formed to obtain and maintain Qualified
Plan Status for all Article 4 (Downstate Fire) and Article
3 (Downstate Police) Pension Funds. Besides I.P.F.A.,
the coalition includes the other following organizations:
AFFI, IGFOA, ILFOP, IPPFA, and MAP. The Illinois
Department of Insurance, a law firm with experience in
governmental pension plans, and the accounting firm of
Lauterbach & Amen are also a part of this coalition.

The group established a five year plan. A contribution
amount of $400 per fund was calculated to pay the
expenses of this five year plan. Funds collected are
controlled by the Coalition in a separate account.
Coalition accounting services are provided by
Lauterbach & Amen. Since the formation of the
coalition, determination letters were successfully
obtained for Article 3 and Article 4 pension funds. These
letters are valid through January, 2014 with annual
maintenance provided by the coalition. At that point, the
determination letters will have to be renewed.

A review of the records indicates that not all of the Article
3 and 4 funds have made their 2009-14 payment to the
Coalition for Qualified Plan Status. This is a reminder to
all of those funds to make their payment. Any coalition
funds that may be outstanding at the end of the initial 5
year period will be used for the renewal and
maintenance process for the next 5 year period. Our
funds are perpetual in nature and maintaining IRS
Qualified Plan Status is an ongoing process that should
be continued.

If you are not sure your fire or police pension fund has
made its payment, you can e-mail us, call the IPFA office
or log on to and click on the
Pension Coalition tab.


May 3
, Friday Spring Pension Seminar
May 8
, Wednesday Board Meeting
August 10
, Saturday I.P.F.A . Day at the State Fair
August 14
, Wednesday Board Meeting
October 9
, Wednesday Annual Meeting
November 1
, Friday Fall Pension Seminar

Call, write, or e-mail the office if you need more
information about any of the above events.

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Richard J. Reimer, I.P.F.A. Board Counsel -
2012 Reimer & Karlson, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

1. DOI Levy Recommendations Return. The
Department of Insurance (DOI) has announced that they
will resume production of suggested tax levy reports
effective September 24, 2012. You may recall that the
DOI suspended this function for fiscal year 2011 in order
to come into compliance with Public Act 96-1495 which
made significant changes to the manner in which
actuarial calculations are performed under the Statute.
Notably, the minimum employer contribution will now be
calculated using the projected unit credit cost method.

In addition, the process to comply with P.A. 96-1495
includes an update to the actuarial assumptions used in
producing the recommended tax levies. Significantly,
the DOI has assumed new rates of return for police and
firefighter pension funds. The new rate of return
assumptions are as follows:

Fund Net Asset Value
Assumed Rate
of Return
Under $2.5 million 5%
$2.5 million - $5 million 6%
$5 million - $10 million 6.5%
Over $10 million 6.75%

The DOI states that these updated actuarial
assumptions will most likely result in higher annual
employer contribution requirements. The DOI reports
that Article 3 and Article 4 funds with annual statements
that have been filed and accepted by the DOI by
October 12, 2012, will have a suggested levy produced
and available no later than November 30, 2012. Funds
still have the option of utilizing the DOI recommended
levy or retaining an independent enrolled actuary.

2. 2. DOI Comments on Whether Funds of $10 Million
or More May Go to 65% Equity. In a recent advisory
opinion from the Illinois Department of Insurance, the
issue of whether Article 3 and 4 pension funds with
assets in excess of $10 million may invest up to 65% in
equities was addressed.

Per 40 ILCS 5/1-113.4a, Police and Fire pension funds
meeting the $10 million or greater asset requirement
may invest up to 55% in equity, as authorized under that
statute. Separately, 40 ILCS 5/1-113.2(13) allows up to
10% of a police or fire pension funds net assets to be
invested in separate accounts managed by life insurance
companies, authorized to transact business in Illinois,
and mutual funds meeting the requirements of
113.2(13), which are comprised of diversified portfolios
of common or preferred stocks, bonds, or money
market instruments.

The Public Pension Divisions opinion interprets the
language of 1-113.4a, allowing 55% in equities in the
investment vehicles as specified in 1-113.4a, 1-113.4,
and 1-113.3, to be in addition to the up to 10% of
assets provided for under 1-113.2(13), provided those
investments meet the requirements as authorized under
that section. The DOI further feels that the legislatures
intent in 1-113.4a was to include the up to 10% found
under 1-113.2(13) as an aggregate part of the 55%

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total authorization in certain equity type investments, not
in addition to it. As a result, future legislation may be
proposed in an attempt to clarify the issue.

Of course, while the 65% equity allocation may be
permissible, it may not be a prudent investment for
pension boards. Information conveyed through this
summary should not be construed as legal or investment
advice. Consult an attorney or investment professional
with questions. DOI advisory opinions are not legal

3. DOI Advisory Opinion Issued Regarding Deferred
Pensioners and Beneficiaries. On March 27, 2012 the
DOI issued an advisory opinion relating to the eligibility
of deferred pensioners and beneficiaries to vote and
hold office as a pension board trustee.

Deferred pensioners are former firefighters and police
officers who have sufficient creditable service to receive
benefits, but have not yet reached the age to collect. A
deferred pensioner who is a member of a downstate
firefighters pension fund is allowed to vote and run for
the retired member position on the pension board.
However, deferred pensioners who are members of a
downstate police pension fund are not allowed to vote or
run for a position on the pension fund.

With regard to surviving spouses (i.e. widows and
widowers), the results are different. A surviving spouse
of a firefighter is not allowed to vote or run for office.
However, the surviving spouse of a police officer is
allowed to vote and hold the beneficiary position on the
pension board.

4. DOI Comments on Pension Trustee Training
Requirements. In another recent opinion from the DOI,
the definition of training period was clarified for pension
board trustees. 40 ILCS 5/1-109.3 sets forth the training
requirements for trustees: 16 hours of continuing
education each year, after the first year of election or
appointment. That statute goes on to say that if a board
member does not timely complete their training, they are
not eligible to serve on the board. After an additional 6
month grace period, a special election or a mayoral
appointment shall choose a successor for the unexpired

For any trustee on a board as of the effective date of that
legislation August 13, 2009 their annual training
period is defined as August 13 August 12 each year
until they leave the board. For those trustees elected
after August 13, 2009 the annual training period would
begin on the election date or appointment date each
year. The fiscal year of a fund does not represent the
correct measurement of the training period.

Members removed from the board are ineligible to
immediately refill the same trustee position, but are
eligible for future elected or appointed seats on the

5. DOI Advisory Opinion on Equity Level for Funds
with Assets in Excess of $10 Million. In yet another
Department of Insurances advisory opinion issued
pertinent to pension funds, the DOI has commented on
equity investment levels for pension funds with assets in
excess of $10 million.

The Public Pension Division interprets the investment of
55% of fund assets in equity allowed under 40 ILCS 5/1-
113.4a to be in addition to the 10% allowed under 40
ILCS 5/1-113.2(13), provided that the 10% follows the
investment requirements as specified in that section.

The opinion concludes with mention that it DOI
understands the intent of 1-133.4a was to include the
10% limit as per 113.2(13) as an aggregate part of the
55% total equity investment (not in addition to it).
Consequently, legislation may be proposed in the future
to clarify the issue.


Mark Mifflin, I.P.F.A. Lobbyist

Illinois pensions are in crisis. This crisis undermines not
only the present State pension structure, but also
threatens the precarious budget process in Illinois. The
current funding shortfall for state-wide pensions is
approximately $96 billion and this amount increases by
over $17 million per day. Everyone agrees that the
solution to the pension crisis is two-fold: increase
money contributed to the failing system and curtail
pension benefits while at the same time necessarily
protecting the constitutional rights of employees against
the impairment of their pension benefits.
The Illinois State Senate passed pension relief bills in
the spring legislative session which generally provided
employees/retirees with a choice of limiting their
respective pensions. For example, the employees who
chose to retain their full cost-of-living adjustment rights
would forego future healthcare benefits. These types of
choices for the employees are aimed at preserving the
constitutionality of these limitations by offering the
voluntary choice of foregoing rights which may not prove
to be constitutionally protected while at the same time
ensuring other benefits are maintained. The Senate bills
were never considered in the House.

During the last few days of the lame-duck legislative
session in early January, Speaker Madigan removed a

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major stumbling block when he lifted his requirement of
cost-shifting from the State to downstate public schools
for downstate teachers pension funding. This opened
the door for a flurry of legislative activity in the House in
an effort to address the pension crisis. Specifically,
several bills were pursued which would have reduced or
delayed cost-of-living adjustments for retirees while also
increasing the contribution requirements of employees.
Not surprisingly, unions were opposed to the new
proposals on the basis that the foregoing of benefits by
the employees was not warranted when the crisis was,
in fact, primarily caused by underfunding from the State
and that the reduction in benefits is unconstitutional.
While some unions have shown a willingness to increase
employee contributions by as much as two percent, even
those unions have indicated that any such concession
must include an iron-clad guarantee that the State will
fulfill its pension funding obligations into the future.
Without a clear consensus on how to address the
pension problem and in light of the opposition of strong
unions in the State, the House proposals were never
called for a vote in the House.

In the end, in a last ditch effort to pass some legislation,
Governor Quinn even appeared in a House committee
hearing to propose the creation of a Pension Review
Commission to give power to eight individuals appointed
by the legislative leaders to recommend pension reform
which would be enacted unless the proposals were
specifically rejected by a majority vote in both the House
and the Senate. Ultimately, even this last ditch proposal
to pass the buck from the legislature to the Commission
could not garner enough support to be called for a vote
in the House. There was no legislative solution passed
in the 97
Illinois General Assembly.

The new legislators were inaugurated as the 98

General Assembly on January 9, 2013. While the
Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate in
the previous legislature, they have now assumed an
overwhelming and unprecedented supermajority in both
the House (71-47) and the Senate (40-19). The
ongoing pension crisis looms as the major issue in the
new General Assembly. While the Democrats have
assumed even stronger majorities, there is no indication
of any consensus about how to address the problem. It
may take a major jolt, such as a downgrade in the
States credit rating which would impair the States
borrowing authority, to put enough pressure on
legislators to find common ground for a solution.

It is important to emphasize that, as of now, the
legislative focus is upon four or five of the State pension
funds (depending upon whether the Judges fund is
included). There have been no serious legislative efforts
to tackle the similar underfunding problems which exist
at the local level, including downstate fire and police
funds. Mayors and local government officials, including
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, have long argued that
they should be included in the solution to the pension
underfunding crisis because their local pension funds
are likewise underfunded. It can be expected that these
local fund issues will be addressed by the legislature if
and when the state fund pension crisis has been

The underfunding of public pensions on every level
remains a major crisis in Illinois politics and government.
The legislature remains gridlocked as to how to address
the problem both in terms of where to find additional
money and what measures to use to achieve financial
savings while at the same time protecting the
constitutional rights of employees/retirees. The
Democrats supermajority in both the House and the
Senate provides unprecedented power, but with it comes
unprecedented responsibility. Republicans and
Democrats need to set aside partisan differences and
work for the common good in order to enable the
legislature to preserve the pension rights of public
employees, the solvency of pension funds and the fiscal
condition of government.


Richard J. Reimer, I.P.F.A. Board Counsel -
2012 Reimer & Karlson LLC. All rights reserved.

1. Court Says Ex-Spouses Apportionment of
Pension under QDRO is Final, In re Marriage of
Kehoe and Farkas --N.E.2d--, 2012 IL App (1st)
110644. This case involves a Police Officer in dispute
with his ex-wife concerning disposition of marital pension
assets. (Hard to believe, isnt it?)

Frank Farkas was married to the petitioner Loretta L.
Kehoe for six (6) years while he was employed as a
Schiller Park Police Officer. In 1988, a judgment for
dissolution of marriage was entered, with a Marital
Settlement Agreement and Qualified Domestic Relations
Order (QDRO) incorporated into the judgment. As part
of the Agreement, the Parties agreed that the ex-spouse
would be entitled to one half of the value of the Officers
pension from the date of his employment as a Police
Officer with the Village of Schiller Park, to the date of
separation of the Parties, which was August 31, 1985.
The QDRO was to take effect upon the Officers
retirement. The Officer apparently thought that was the
end of it and moved on.

The Officer retired effective November 17, 2009. The
Schiller Park Police Pension Board contacted the ex-
spouse and informed her that because of the change in
Illinois Law, Illinois Police Pension Funds will only pay

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benefits pursuant to a Court entered Qualified Illinois
Domestic Relations Order (QILDRO), and that the Board
was not required to honor a QDRO. The Officers ex-
spouse sent him a QILDRO consent form, which he
refused to sign. The ex-spouse then filed a Motion for
Entry of a QILDRO, setting forth a formula which
calculated the ex-spouses benefits by dividing the
Officers Pension as of the date the pension went into
pay status, as opposed to the date set forth in the
judgment and initial QDRO. The Officer objected to her
method of calculation of the pension arguing that the ex-
spouse was only entitled to one half of the value of the
pension from the date of marriage to the date of

The Trial Court entered a written Order denying the ex-
spouses Motion for Entry of QILDRO and ordered the
Officer to pay the pension as per the original QDRO,
50% of the date of his pension as of the date of
separation. The ex-spouse filed a Motion to Reconsider,
which was denied. An Appeal followed.

On Appeal the ex-spouse made a number of arguments.
The Court found that it was entitled to interpret the terms
of the Marital Settlement Agreement in the same manner
as a contract. In other words, the Courts objective was
to give purpose and intent to the original Marital
Settlement Agreement, at the time they entered into the
Agreement, which should be given a fair and reasonable
interpretation based upon all the language and
provisions of that Marital Settlement Agreement and
QDRO. Of significance was the specific detail language
of the original Marital Settlement Agreement and QDRO,
which the Court found was not silent as to the method in
which the pension would be divided and the formula for
determining pension apportionment at the time of
dissolution of marriage. In essence, what the ex-spouse
sought to do was to change the methodology previously
agreed upon in the Marital Settlement Agreement and
QDRO, by increasing her entitlement to allow the ex-
spouse to receive benefits from the entire growth and
value of the Officers pension from the date of dissolution
to the date of the Officers retirement.

Fortunately for the now retired Officer, the Court soundly
rejected the ex-spouses arguments. 5/1-119 of the
Illinois Pension Code, which went into effect July 1,
1999, contained specific statutory provisions per
allowing an alternate payee of a voided QDRO, to
petition the Court for an amended Order such as a
QILDRO, which can comply with the new statutory
provisions. However, that provision does not permit the
ex-spouse another opportunity to formulate a method of
apportionment, which would entitle her to greater share
of the pension benefits that was originally agreed to in
the Parties Settlement Agreement and QDRO.
Accordingly, the Court affirmed the Trial Courts finding
that the ex-spouse was not entitled to more pension
benefits than she originally agreed to in the original
Marital Settlement Agreement and QDRO. However, the
case was remanded to the Trial Court for entry of an
appropriate QLDRO, spelling out the terms of the
original Settlement Agreement and initial QDRO. Justice
Garcia dissenting.

What apparently saved the day here was, the detailed
and specific provisions of the Marital Settlement
Agreement and QDRO, which prohibited the ex-spouse
from revisiting this issue, once the QLDRO provisions
went into effect.

2. Florida Trial Court Rejects Florida Legislatures
Attempts to Reduce Pensions. Williams, et al. v.
Scott, et al. Case No. 2011 CA 1584, Circuit Court of
Leon County Florida; Judge Fulford, Judge presiding;
issued March 6, 2012.

While not an Illinois case, this case is interesting for
those of you who are following the nationwide pension
jihad. This is a Florida Trial Court case granting
summary judgment in favor of members and participants
of the Florida Retirement System (FRS), challenging the
provisions of Senate Bill 2100 that mandate a deduction
of 3% from the gross compensation of employees in
FRS to serve as contributions towards the employers
retirement benefits under the plan, and to eliminate Cost
of Living Adjustments (COLA) for service credits earned
after July 1, 2011. The case discussed herein is the Trial
Courts granting of a Motion for Summary Judgment
(meaning since there are no contested issues of fact,
plaintiffs are entitled to judgment as a matter of law, and
there was no trial) in favor of the Plaintiffs, and an
Appeal will no doubt follow.

In 1974, the Florida legislature changed the FRS to a
mandatory, non contributory pension system. At the
same time the legislature added a provision to the
Florida statutes, which provides as follows:

The rights of members of the retirement
system established by this chapter shall
not be impaired by virtue of the
conversion of the Florida retirement
system to an employee non contributory
system. As of the effective date of this
act, the rights of members of the
retirement system established by this
chapter are declared to be of a
contractual nature, entered into between
the member and state, and such rights
shall be legally enforceable as valid
contractual rights and shall not be
abridged in any way.

-Continued on page 11-

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- 11 -
-Continued from page 9-

Does this sound familiar? This statutory provision is
similar, but not identical, to the provision of Article 13, 5
of the Illinois Constitution, which protects membership in
Illinois Public Pension systems. Anyway, throughout the
thirty-seven (37) years since the adoption of that
provision by the Florida legislature, FRS remained a non
contributory system and also provided retirees annual
COLA increases throughout their retirement.

In 2011 the Florida legislature, when faced with a budget
short fall turned to the employees of FRS, and passed
Senate Bill 2100 effective July 1, 2011. Most of the
changes applied only to employees enrolled in FRS after
the Bills effective date. However, Senate Bill 2100 had
two significant changes to FRS: to employees who were
FRS members prior to July 1, 2011; 1) the mandatory
3% employee contribution and 2) the elimination of
COLA increases. Senate Bill 2100 significantly
decreases the amount employers must contribute to
FRS for the benefit of their employees by more than half
for nearly every membership class.

The Plaintiffs challenged the legality of Senate Bill 2100
on a number of theories. First that the changes to FRS
violated the contractual rights conferred upon them by
the above referenced Florida statutory provision, and
thus constituted impairment of contract in violation of the
Florida Constitution. In addition, the Plaintiffs also
asserted that the changes constituted taking in violation
of Article X, 6 of the Florida Constitution and that the
changes violate their rights to engage in collective
bargaining protected by Article I, 6 of the Florida

The trial court first addressed the impairment of contract
claim. The changes at issue in this case constituted a
complete change in the plan from a non-contributory to a
contributory plan, and the elimination of COLA
adjustments, were held to be qualitative changes to the
plan, not changes to the individual components of future
accruals within the plan. The Court held that the above-
referenced Florida provision cannot be read to allow the
Legislature to redefine established unconditional
contractual rights. Such a reading would render the
express contract created by the above-referenced
statutory provision wholly illusory, said the Court.
While the Legislature is capable of making prospective
alterations to benefits, neither that statutory provision,
nor case law, authorizes the Legislature to change the
fundamental nature of the plan itself. In addition, the
Court held that the plaintiffs claim did not end with an
impairment inquiry. For an impairment of a contract to
be unconstitutional, it must also be substantial. In this
case, the unrebuted evidence presented by the Plaintiffs
demonstrated that the costs of the changes to the
individual plaintiffs ranged from $12,445.81 to
$329,683.56, over the span of their working years and
retirement if they received no further salary raises. In
addition, the elimination of future COLA increases alone
would result in a 4% to 24% reduction in the plaintiffs
total retirement income. The Court held the cost
impact was substantial as a matter of law.

The final step of the impairment analysis was a
determination by the Court whether the impairment was
both reasonable and necessary to serve an important
public purpose. In order for the State to justify
impairment of its contractual obligations, it must
demonstrate a compelling state interest.

The Court found the fact that the State faced a
significant budget shortfall alone was insufficient. The
undisputed record contained evidence that there were
other reasonable alternatives which existed to preserve
the States contract with FRS members. The Court held
that the State could reduce its financial obligations
whenever it wanted to spend money for what it regarded
as an important public purpose, the contract clause
would provide no protection at all.

The Court also soundly rejected the takings claim and
collective bargaining claim asserted by the plaintiffs.
Summary Judgment was entered on behalf of plaintiffs,
and the defendants Motion for Summary Judgment was
denied. The Court struck down that portion of Senate
Bill 2100 imposing a three percent (3%) mandatory
employee contribution and eliminating the COLA
increases for future service, as unconstitutional, as
applied to FRS members who were members prior to
July 1, 2011, and the State was permanently enjoined
from implementing those provisions of Senate Bill 2100
as to those Plaintiffs. (Stay tuned!)

3. Pension Boards May Be Subject to Class Action
Liability; Watch for Systematic Miscalculation
Hooker v. Retirement Board of the Firemens Annuity &
Benefit Fund of Chicago, 2012 ILApp. 111625 (1st Dist.).

In May, Illinois First District Appellate Court considered
a case involving benefits for surviving spouses collecting
under Article 6 (Chicago Fire) of the Illinois Pension
Code. This is the cases second trip to the appellate
court and, based on the way the decision came out, we
may have not heard the last of this case.

In 1988, Chicago Firefighter Michael Hooker suffered a
debilitating injury in the line of duty. Firefighter Hooker
died in 2000. The Board then awarded Mrs. Hooker the
minimum widows annuity. Mrs. Hooker challenged the
Boards decision, arguing she was entitled to line-of-duty
death benefits. The trial court agreed. The Board
appealed, but the appellate court sided with Mrs. Hooker
and against the Board. See Hooker v. Retirement Bd. of
the Firemens Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago, 391
Ill.App.3d 129 (2009) (referred herein as Hooker I).

- 12 -
In 2004, while Hooker I was pending, the Illinois State
Legislature passed P.A. 93-654. This act amended the
code to include duty availability pay (DAP) as part of
the pensionable salary of some employees, including the
late Firefighter Hooker. The Board refused to include
DAP into Mrs. Hookers benefit. In light of that
consideration, Mrs. Hooker returned to the Circuit Court
of Cook County. This time, Mrs. Hooker filed a class
action lawsuit on behalf of all similarly situated surviving
spouses. The Board argued the surviving spouses were
not entitled to have DAP increase the amount of her
pension because the late Mr. Hooker had never been
paid DAP. The circuit court agreed with the Board and
refused to certify the class. Mrs. Hooker appealed.

The appellate court reversed the trial courts decision. In
rejecting the Boards argument, the court explained:

We agree with the Board that
for any calculation based on
the salaries [firefighters]
received, the Board should not
include duty availability pay in
the calculation. However, the
legislature expressly chose to
make the [surviving spouse]
annuity in section 6-140
depend on the current annual
salary attached to the
classified position to which the
fireman was certified at the
time of his death, and not on
the salary the fireman
In light of this analysis, the court concluded Mrs.
Hookers pension should include DAP.

The appellate court also held the trial court erred by
refusing to certify a class. The trial court and the Board
believed the administrative review law, under which all
pension board decisions are able to be challenged, were
not subject to a class action lawsuit. However, the
appellate court held, The Administrative Review Law
does not preclude a class action to correct the Boards
systematic miscalculation of the annuities owed class
members. The court further explained, a class action
should serve as an efficient means of resolving the

Mrs. Hooker died on September 20, 2010, while the
appeal was pending. The court refused to determine
whether the Board was required to pay Mrs. Hookers
estate the sum owed. The court instructed the trial court
to deal with this matter.

While this case solely deals with Article 6 of the Pension
Code, it provides some insight as to how pension
statutes are construed by the courts. Moreover, it gives
some traction to the argument that when pensions are
miscalculated due to a systematic miscalculation they
may be subject to review and correction. At the same
time, this case shows when pension boards make errors
they may be subject to class action liability.

4. Michigan Trial Court Strikes Down Pension Law
as Unconstitutional

On September 28, 2012, a State Court Judge struck
down Michigans mandate for State employees to make
pension contributions equaling 4% of their salary. In
2011, Michigans Legislature enacted Public Act 264.
The Act required State employees to choose between
having their benefits frozen (and joining a defined
contribution plan) or contributing 4% of their salary
toward the pension fund. The ruling found the Act
infringed on the constitutionally guaranteed powers of
Michigans Civil Service Commission to determine
the rates of compensation of State employees.

The Court explained: The Court will not belabor what is
clearly the latest attempt by Michigans Legislature to
delve into the realm of decision-making power held by
the Commission. Ample authority exists to support
Plaintiffs position that the Legislature can neither
regulate the conditions of employment in the classified
service nor fix rates of compensation. A similar attempt
was at issue in AFSCME Council 25 v State Employees
Ret Sys, 294 Mich App 1 (2011), Iv denied 490 Mich 935
(2011), where the Court of Appeals affirmed the Court of
Claims ruling that a statute (MCL 38.35) requiring a
three percent employee compensation contribution to
finance retiree health care was unconstitutional.

The State is expected to appeal this case. The public
safety pension and labor attorneys at Reimer & Karlson
LLC are monitoring and will provide updates regarding
this developing matter.


Terry B. Cox, Size-Up Editor

Some firefighters feel as if they might be forced into
changes to their retirement system that may not be
needed. They feel that bigger repairs are being
suggested that might be needed. They wonder if the
pension system is not truly broken beyond repair. Some
of our leaders seem to be looking for a quick fix rather
than focusing on the real cause of underfunding.
Decades of employer neglect have caused us to be
where we are today.

Firefighters believe and depend on the Illinois
constitution to protect the benefits they have paid for and
earned. Active participants made timely, proper

- 13 -
contributions towards their retirement/disability/survivor
benefits, in some cases for well over thirty years. They
wonder why someone would consider asking them to
consider a reduced benefit they feel they paid for.

The major item to make fund balances get to an
acceptable level is proper funding. Each year, make an
accurate calculation of active employee contributions,
and calculate a tax levy using realistic assumptions for
investment income. Do not allow for pension holidays,
unrealistic assumptions, or overly restrictive investment
guidelines. Do not allow employers to deviate from their
responsibility to properly fund retirement systems.

Past practice was a negotiated agreed bill process.
Legislative committees held hearings that included input
from various parties and actuarial calculations. Cost
increases sometimes involved increasing employee
contributions, or changing funding formulas, or extending
funding periods. Some legislation impacted more than
one aspect. Organizations that represented the
employers and organizations that represented
participants had their input. If passed, the appropriate
employee contributions were adjusted based on the
language of the legislation. Actuarial calculations and
tax levy amounts were also adjusted accordingly.

I believe that fund participants should receive the
benefits they earned through their creditable service time
and the timely, proper payment of their employee


Tim Clemens,
IPFA Vice-President

On January 23, 2013 the Illinois
Department of Insurance held a Non-
Compliance Hearing involving the
Village of Washington Park, Illinois.
Illinois Professional Firefighters
Association attended the Non-
Compliance Hearing concerning the
Villages actions or lack of actions
concerning the Firemens Pension
Fund. I.P.F.A. became involved in this
matter after the governors office
notified us of this issue and asked if we
could be of any assistance.

Washington Park has been charged
with non-compliance with Article 4 of
the Pension Statute. They have failed
to file complete Annual Reports, make
contributions, and failure to pay retiree pensions.

Two of the three fire retirees filed suit and sued
Washington Park for reinstatement of their pensions and
back pay to when their pensions were stopped. They
won a judgment against Washington Park. Dale
Cleveland, the third retiree, was not a part of the lawsuit
and was not included in the judgment. Dales wife had
tried to get help reinstating her husbands pension to no
avail. Mrs. Cleveland tried her State and U.S. Senators,
Representatives, the Department of Insurance, and the
Governors Office among others for assistance.

Even though Dale Cleveland is not a member of I.P.F.A.,
we were asked to look into their plight. Executive
Director Greg Knoll made contact with Mrs. Cleveland
and offered our help. I.P.F.A. sent representatives to the
hearing to offer support and weigh in on the problems
facing Washington Park. We met with the D.O.I. after
the hearing regarding this matter. We also offered help
to the law firm representing Washington Park, which was
welcomed by all parties.

The Department of Insurance pleaded with the Hearing
Officer to place daily fines on Washington Park while
Washington Park pleaded that no fines be imposed and
allow them to correct the numerous problems facing their

The Hearing Officer concluded the three hour hearing
without making a ruling. Stay tuned for further
information on Washington Park and other towns that
may be fined for non-compliance.

- 14 -

Greg Knoll,
Executive Director

Resolution 2012-01 is printed
on page 2 of this issue. The
data speaks for itself the fire
service continues to need to
pay close attention to
everything we do. In quarters,
enroute to and return from
responses or other duties, at
emergency scene, on the
training ground. Even in the
personal aspect of your life.
We need to pay attention so
we can retire when we want
and how we want.

The Illinois Firefighter Life
Safety Task Force was formed
to educate the fire service
about safe practices and
encourage everyone to learn and practice the sixteen
Firefighter Life Safety Initiatives. It is an effort to change
the culture and behavior in the fire service. It strongly
encourages everyone to take the seatbelt pledge. A
seat belt video was sent to every fire department last

The Taskforce continues to meet monthly in person or
on conference calls. I.P.F.A. has been on the committee
since its inception. We hand out the Task Force
brochure as part of our pension seminar packets.

If you have any questions concerning the program, the
life safety initiatives, or the seatbelt pledge, you can
check out the website, write, e-mail,
or call the I.P.F.A. office.


Greg Knoll, I.P.F.A. Executive Director

The Spring Pension Seminar date has been set for
Friday, May 3
, a gold shift. Combined with attendance
at the fall seminar, Pension Board Trustees can
complete their continuing education retirement
mandated by State Statute. The seminar is also
attended by other I.P.F.A. members who have requested
a specific topic or have an interest is one or more of the

Space has again been reserved at the Empress
Banquets on Lake Street in Addison. This location is
convenient to the entire Chicago metropolitan area and
is easily reached from any direction.

Tentative topics include an update from our lobbyist
concerning pension legislation, details from the
Department of Insurance concerning the issues
explained in one of Rick Reimers articles. Our Board
Counsel will also cover recent court decisions impacting
pension boards. We are reaching out to the Social
Security Administration for a representative to describe
and give examples of public pension offset to
participants that do not contribute to Social Security as
part of their fire service employee deductions. They will
also describe the impact to survivor benefits for
firefighters or their spouses.

If you are looking to increase your knowledge of the
pension system, meet other concerned fire and police
fund trustees, browse the exhibits, and have a great
lunch, mark your calendar for May 3
in Addison. Full
details about topics, presenters, and other information
will be mailed to all members and fire and police pension
board secretaries in March.

Please remember that the Board reviews all suggestions
offered by the membership and all of those who attend
the spring and fall seminars. Write, call, or e-mail the
office if you have a topic and/or presenter you would like
to see at a future seminar.


Remember the Saturday, August 10
, a gold shift is the
day I.P.F.A. members and their families volunteer to
man the fire service tent and displays at the Illinois State
Fair in Springfield.

Current members get a hotel room and volunteer T shirts
for their efforts. Write, call, or e-mail the office if you
have questions.

- 15 -
Motorola Grants
Help with IFSI Academy Tuition

Champaign, IL. January 8, 2013. The Illinois Fire
Service Institute (IFSI) has received a grant from the
Motorola Foundation to help offset the cost of IFSIs
Basic Firefighter/NFPA Firefighter 1 Academy. The
seven week program expanded from six weeks will
be $900 less per student for the two 2013 academies.

According to Brad Bone, Director of Fire Fighting
Programs for IFSI, We realized the tuition increase for
the seven-week academy would put the cost of
Academy above what many departments may have
already budgeted. We applied for and received a grant
from the Motorola Foundation so that each student
enrolled in the 2013 spring or fall Academy will receive a
$900 tuition discount, making tuition just $2100 per
student per academy. Bone added that the grant is only
available for the 2013 academies.

The decision to increase the Fire Academy from six
week to seven weeks came earlier this year at the
request of fire chiefs across Illinois. Six additional topics
are being added: Courage to be Safe, HazMat
Awareness, Technical Rescue Awareness, Fire Service
Vehicle Operator, NIMS 100 and NIMS 700.

IFSIs Academy is one of the last in the country to offer
hands-on, live-fire training in real life scenarios.
Academy students benefit from a five-to-one student to
instructor ratio and access to more than 100 skill-based
drills, of which about 50 percent are in smoke and/or fire.
The curriculum for IFSIs Academy exceeds the
minimum requirements for Illinois Office of the State Fire

To further enhance students and departments access
to training, HazMat Operations and Vehicle Machinery
Operations are offered immediately following the end of
Academy. HazMat Ops is offered the week after
Academy graduation with tuition waived under funding
from the Department of Homeland Security. Vehicle
Machinery Operations is offered two weeks after
Aademy graduation and has a separate tuition fee of

The Spring 2013 Academy begins on March 4, 2013.
The Fall Academy begins on Tuesday, September 3,
2013 and includes four 10-hour days the first week to
accommodate the Labor Day Holiday.

The Illinois Fire Service Institute is the State Fire
Academy for Illinois. In addition to training provided at its
Champaign campus, the institute offers hands-on
classes for fire departments at Regional Training
Centers and local fire stations across the State. The
mission of the Illinois Fire Service Institute is to help
firefighters do their work through training, education,
information and research.

For more Institute information, call 217-333-3800.


Those of you who have furnished your e-mail address as
part of your membership information are helping to keep
costs down. You also get your issue 3 to 5 days sooner
than those who get a paper copy of the Size-Up. Not
sure we have your correct e-mail address, write us at Thanks for doing your part to keep our
printing and postage expenses under control.

- 16 -
Illinois Fire Service Institute Updates

Roger D. Lunt,
I.F.S.I. Deputy Director

Down and Dirty
Fire Explorer and Fire Cadet Training
OFallon Fire Department March 9
Galesburg Fire Department, April 13
Quincy Fire Department, May 11

All training sessions are scheduled 8:00 AM through
5:00 PM. Registration forms are located on the IFSI
website, or Contact our East Central Region Rep., Tim
Meister, 1-217-202-4760, for greater details.

Down and Dirty Fires on the Farm is offered in two
ourses/fof.cfm is the link for information and the online
course content. Students will receive an IFSI certificate
upon successfully completing the course.

The second format is provided via the new Down & Dirty
Fires on the Farm CD. This has been mailed to all 1201
Illinois Fire departments as part of our partnership with
the Illinois Firefighters Association. We suggest you add
this CD-ROM format to your training library. Viewers
can use the CD-ROM training package for group fire
department attendance or use it for individual training.
You can view the training modules in the order that they
are provided in the training package or select the
sections of special interest.

Down & Dirty Fires on the Farm provides an overview of
farm fires and brings strategies, tactics, operations and
water supply logistics together. Today, rural fire
departments can extinguish most farm fires.
Emphasizing pre-planning, thinking "beyond your own
back yard" and encouraging joint training and practice,
rural fires can have successful outcomes. The training
covers response capabilities, strengths and weaknesses
of the department as well as considerations for farm fires
in buildings, areas involving common farm chemicals,
machinery, fields and/or crops.

IFSI to Expand Fire Academy
The Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) is expanding the
Basic Firefighter/NFPA Firefighter 1 Academy from six
weeks to seven weeks. The change and the additional
integrated classes are at the request of fire chiefs across
Illinois. Beginning with the Spring 2013 Academy, six
additional topics are being added: Courage to be Safe,
HazMat Awareness, Technical Rescue Awareness, Fire
Service Vehicle , NIMS 100 and NIMS 700.

IFSI has received a grant from the Motorola Foundation
to help offset the cost of IFSI's Basic Firefighter/NFPA
Firefighter 1 Academy. The seven week program will be
$900 less per student for the Spring and Fall 2013
academies, making tuition $2100 per student per
academy (for 2013 only).

IFSI Staff travel to Quantico Marine Base
In support of the IFSI Fire Service Leadership training
development project on December 9
a team from IFSI
traveled to the Quantico Marine Base, Quantico Virginia.
The IFSI team was represented by Deputy Director Lunt,
Associate Director Brauer, Fire Officer Program Director
Lake, and Chicago Metro Regional Representative

The goals of the trip were to identify consistent
leadership themes, consistent curriculum areas, and
ways to train leadership and complex pressurized
decision making. We were able to learn from the USMC
a cradle-to-grave leadership development, training and
education concept and the process that goes from the
enlisted ranks through the ranks of Lieutenants,
Captains, Majors and Lt Colonels, Colonels and

We were exposed to numerous training and educational
methods such as tactical decision games, ethical
decision games, moral decision games/dilemmas, small
group discussions, and sand-table exercises including
small unit decision training. You can expect to hear
much more about this trip and the Leadership
development training from Director Mortenson.

IFSI Burn Team Development

It is the policy of the Illinois Fire Service Institute to
provide Live Burn Training in acquired structures in the
safest possible manner and under the safest possible
conditions. This includes providing qualified, well trained,
and experienced instructors to conduct live fire training
in acquired structures.

The Illinois Fire Service Institute has been conducting
live fire training in acquired structures safely for over 50
years. In 1986, the NFPA published Standard #1403
Live Fire Training Evolutions in Structures in response to
concerns related to incidents involving firefighter deaths
during live fire training.

While IFSI was not involved in any of the fatal incidents,
it does recognize the need for strict guidelines for
instructors and students participating in live fire training.
IFSI provides this document to all instructors who meet
the qualifications for approval to be a member of the Live
Burn Team. The first Live Burn Team was established in
1990s, and all members were provided with live burn
procedures, training, and equipment needed to conduct

- 17 -
live burns in acquired structures. In November of 2012,
Director Royal P. Mortenson requested that this
policy/procedure be updated.

On January 1, 2013 new training and education
requirements were implemented for acquired structure
live fire training instructors. The requirements follow the
already established IFSI 5-step learning model. While
never minimizing the value of properly prepped
structures, fuel loads, water supplies, etc., the success
of these training sessions is rooted in responsible,
knowledgeable, and safety conscious instructors. It is
our intent to continue a tradition of safe and realistic
training with acquired structures, and better support our
instructors responsible for the live fire training

IFSI New Program Managers
Engine Company Operations Program - Tim Meister
Truck Company Operations Program - Jim Vaughn
Smoke Divers Program - Jason Demas
FAST Program - Mike McCastland
Light & Fight On Campus Program - Tom Rushing
FAE/FSVO Program - Tal Prendergast
RIT Program Cary Coney
National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Program
Ralph Webster

Illinois Fire Service Institute Regional
These regional representatives are your important link to
bringing IFSI training to your fire department.

Northeast Region: Randy Schlichter - 847-343-4039
East Central Region: Tim Meister, 217-202-4760
Chicago Metro Area: Richard Stack, 773-988-0259
Central Region: Jim Vaughn, 309-275-2499
Metro-East Region: John Nichols, 618-973-2059
South Region: Tim Bragg, 217-962-1597
Northwest Region: Ray Palczynski, 563-468-8385

New Cornerstone Program Brochure
If you have not received your copy, or if you have any
questions regarding the training opportunities offered via
the Cornerstone Program, please contact your IFSI
Regional Representative.


Associate Members

Ms. Amy Edwards
QCI Restoration

Ms. Courtney Ellis
Marquette Wealth

Ms. Barbara Foster
John Hancock LTC

Mr. William Gregg
Mr. Michael Howard
Ms. Heather Ludlum
Mr. Scott Schneider
Great Lakes Advisors,

Ms. Terese Krafcheck
MB Financial Bank

Mr. Keith Latz
Lemont Pension Fund

Mrs. Teresa Madaj
Alper Services
Mr. Dan Murphy
Curian Capital LLC

Mr. Robert H. Ridder
Bensenville Pension

Mr. Michael R. Stuart
MB Financial Bank

Mr. Ronald Tomanek
Graystone Consulting

Mr. Russell F. Wajda
Village of Hillside

Ms. Karen A. Wilhelm

Mr. Adam Winston
Glenwood Pension

Mr. Ron Yori

FF Adam Brand
FF Mario Golden
FF Sean Kennedy
FF Nicholas Le Valley

FF Richard A. Waychoff

Engr. Jerry J. Marzullo

FF Brian P.

FF/PMD David Joseph
FF/PMD Richard Dubin
FF/PMD David Poskus

Chief Mike Brey, Sr.

Country Club Hills
Chief Roger Agpawa

FF Laurence R. Turner

Elmwood Park
FF Kevin Ferraro
FF Corey Leber
FF Nicholas Mourning
FF Kevin Will
FF David Zinn

FF Robert Nelson

B/C Edward J. Lancioni

Andy Bettenhausen
FF/PMD Chris A. Pack

Highland Park
FF Charles Ugaste

Nicholas McDonough
Jared Skibbens
Michael C. Wilson

James F. Burke, Jr.

- 18 -
Lake Forest
FF/PMD Patrick M. Issel
Lieut. Wayne Robertson

Lake Zurich
Chief David P.

FF William Musselman

FF Thomas Medlyn
FF/PMD Nolan Ryan
FF Greg Sosnowski

FF/PMD Michael

Engr. Donald Arthur

PFF Daniel Barrett
FF Phillip Brooks
PFF James M.
FF Matthew Lantgen

Melrose Park
FF Donald P. Andersen

FF Kevin Kalbach

Oak Brook
FF/PMD Jake Arzer

Palatine Rural
Anthony Christie
FF/PMD Peter Retuerto
FF/PMD Amy Jo Walter

River Forest
FF Quentin Boyd
FF/PMD Lucas Finfrock

Roberts Park
Lieut. Clint M. Sanders
FF/PMD Matthew Baetz

Chief Derek Bergsten

FF/PMD David L.
Sager, Jr.

Schiller Park
FF/PMD Jessica

FF Richard W. Ciccione
FF/PMD Edward R.
FF/PMD Scott M.
FF/PMD Richard C.
Riggan II
FF/PMD Michael J.
FF/PMD Kevin D.
FF/PMD Daniel J.
FF/PMD Michael D.

Lt. Timothy Roman
FF Isaac Salazar


FF to Lt.
Douglas Dombek
Lt. to Capt.
Larry Kaufman

Keith R. Wonsowski

Capt. to Chief
Thomas D. Gaertner

Buffalo Grove
LT/PMD to Batt. Chief
Shawn J. Collins

Lt. to B/C
James T. Bednarz

Des Plaines
FF/PMD to Lt.
Jeffrey Vallee
Lt. to B/C Bob Ward
Elmwood Park
FF to Lt.
Dennis Argyrakis
FF to Lt.
Joseph S. Drozd
D/C to Chief
Michael J. Ventura

FF/PMD to Lt.
Jon Carlson
FF/PMD to Lt.
William H. Claybrook
Lt. to Capt.
David L. DeWolf
Lt. to Capt.
John Giannelli
FF/PMD to Lt.
Mike Neville
Capt. to Chief
Richard Ronovsky

Homer Township
Lt. to Capt.
Chris Locacius

Capt. to Chief
Craig A. Bronaugh, Jr.
FF to Lieut.
David Hughes
Lieut. to Capt.
Sonya A. Thompson

Oak Brook
Michael D. Erickson

Oak Lawn
Capt. to Bureau Chief
Michael Scott Boman

Oswego F.P.D.
B/C to D/C
Michael J. Veseling

Capt. to B/C
Douglas R. Hoyt

Palatine Rural
B/C to A/C Jeff Dill

Lt. to Capt.
Kevin Mulligan

Lt. to D/C
John Buckley

Capt. to Shift Comdr.
Christopher Howell

Lieut. to Capt.
Daniel B. Johnson
FF to Lieut.
Jeffrey M. Knight

Schiller Park
Jerry Budnik

Lieut. to Capt.
Robert A. Reichert

A/C to Chief
Peter S. Polarek

FF/PM to Lt.
Charles Buschick

Robert Brill


FF/INV Blake L. Deibel

B/C Keith E. Boehne
David A. Christensen

Buffalo Grove
FF Thomas Gough

Chief John Tierney

Elmwood Park
Lieut. Michael J. Tully
Chief Michael J. Marino

Terrence Campbell

- 19 -
Great Lakes
Chief Inspector.
James W. Krause

Thomas J. Sener

B/C Ronald J. Rakosnik

Chief John Cadagin, Jr.
FF James Samata

Melrose Park
A/C Joseph Casale
Capt. Richard Dalitto

Oak Brook
FF Mark C. Bahnsen
Mark S. Schoppe

Joseph E. Holakovsky

River Forest
Lt. John W. Bentel

Capt. Robert H. Levin

Capt. Jeffrey S. Wimer

Mark Abernathy


FF/PMD Thomas Reich

George E. Spanier

B/C Michael S. Diaferia


Mr. Anthony J. LaRocca

FF John J. Kupris

Capt. Norman Kutscher

D/C Robert Kasper

Lake Forest
Mr. David Livingston
Mr. Donald Ronzani

Capt. David B. Cheshire

D/C Charles M. Bobula

Engr. Michael J. Theis

Oak Brook
FF Frank Di Iorio

Kenneth Grandt


The twentieth Firefighter Medal of Honor Ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 9
, a
gold shift. The first part of the ceremony is conducted at the Firefighter Memorial just
southwest of the State Capitol.

The attendees then proceed to the indoor portion of the ceremony where nominated
firefighters receive their awards. I.P.F.A. has had representation on the Medal of Honor
Committee and the Medal of Honor Foundation Committee since their inceptions. Tim
Clemens, Board Vice-President currently serves as Chairman of both Committees.

A musical montage is a part of the indoor ceremony. Any departments or individuals that
have photos of firefighters performing their duties in quarters or on scene are asked to
submit them to the Office of the State Fire Marshal for inclusion in the program.

If anyone would like to submit photos for the montage, please mail them to: Robin Earl,
OSFM, 1035 Stevenson Drive, Springfield, IL 62703-4259, or e-mail them to

Illinois Professional
Firefighters Association
188 Industrial Drive - Suite 438
Elmhurst, Illinois 60126-1612