Bob Marshall

Naperville police Chief Bob Marshall. (City of Naperville / May 22, 2012)

State officials are continuing their fight to keep Naperville's police chief from collecting both a police pension and his chief's salary.

The Illinois attorney general's office this week filed an appeal of a DuPage County judge's ruling that police Chief Bob Marshall doesn't count as a police officer for pension purposes.

That ruling allows Marshall to collect his $154,775 salary as well as his annual police pension, which currently stands at $104,109.

"Under the pension code, Marshall's pension payments should be suspended while he serves as police chief," Maura Possley, spokeswoman for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, said Friday.

Marshall declined comment. His attorney, Thomas Radja, has previously said that an appeal "would be a waste of taxpayer money and resources."

Marshall spent 28 years with the Naperville Police Department before retiring in 2005, when he became Naperville's assistant city manager. In May 2012 he returned to the Police Department as chief and chose to keep collecting his police pension while contributing to another pension system, the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, as he had done while assistant city manager.

Shortly after, the Illinois Department of Insurance filed a position statement arguing that Marshall should not continue to receive his police pension along with the salary. However, the Naperville Police Pension Fund Board voted 4-1 in January 2013 that Marshall could collect both.

The state then took the case to DuPage County court, where it argued that Marshall has all the arrest power of an officer and wears a badge. But an attorney for the Police Pension Fund said Marshall does not receive the same benefits as other officers, such as disability pay.

Both sides agreed that if Marshall had become chief in another town after retiring from the Naperville force, he could have continued to collect the Naperville pension.

DuPage County Associate Judge Paul Fullerton noted that point last month in his written ruling in favor of the chief. He also said Marshall is not considered a police officer as defined by the pension code because he chose to contribute to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund instead of the Police Pension Fund while serving as chief.

State officials said at that time that the ruling "defies common sense." Their appeal will be heard by the Illinois 2nd District Appellate Court.

mjenco@tribune.com

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