By Jason Grotto and Ray Long, Chicago Tribune reporters December 16, 2011
Robert Molaro’s short stint as aide to Ald. Ed Burke brought him windfall for life
All it took for former state Rep. Robert Molaro to nearly double his public pension was spending one month as an aide to Ald. Ed Burke, the powerful chairman of the Chicago City Council’s Finance Committee.
Among Molaro’s duties: Write a 19-page white paper about Chicago’s ailing pension funds. For his services, the former lawmaker was paid $12,000.
That paycheck sent his pension soaring, as many lawmakers’ benefits are based on 85 percent of their final pay on the last day of service. When Molaro officially retired on Jan. 1, 2009, his pensionable salary would be calculated at $144,000 — the amount he would have earned had he worked for Burke for a full year.