Judge Gordon Graham Retiring

McHenry County Circuit Court Judge Gordon Graham has informed court officials that he is retiring on September 7th.

Candidate for Circuit Court Judge Gordon Graham campaigned at the McHenry County Fair in 2010.

Candidate for Circuit Court Judge Gordon Graham campaigned at the McHenry County Fair in 2010.

In 2010, Graham ran for and won the office.

He won the GOP primary election without opposition.

Then, up popped Sally Wiggins, running as an Independent.

Sally Wiggins campaigning for Judge against Gordon Graham.

Sally Wiggins campaigning for Judge against Gordon Graham.

Graham won the fall election.

His six-year term is up this year.

The first time around, circuit court judges are elected for six years.

When that first term is up, the Illinois State Constitution says they can run for retention.

There is no opponent on the ballot.

They are in essence putting themselves up for voter approval.

To remain on the bench, a judge must get 60% of the vote cast.

It is quite difficult to unseat a judge.

When I was teaching state and local government at Rockford College, I noticed “Dump Babb” signs in Boone County.

That would have been in the early 1980’s after my first eight years in the Illinois House of Representatives.

Running on the Republican Party ticket, Babb had been elected a Circuit Court Judge in Boone County, which was in my five-county district back in the 1970’s.

But he had the temerity to run as a Democrat for Appellate Court Judge.

He lost that race.

When his six-year term was up, Babb ran for retention.

The local Republican Party was not happy with Babb’s candidacy as a Democrat.

Associate Judge Gordon and Nancy Graham ride in the Fiesta Days Parade in McHenry.

Associate Judge Gordon and Nancy Graham ride in the Fiesta Days Parade in McHenry.

Hence, the “Dump Babb” yard signs.


To the point.

And effective.

Babb lost the election for retention.

With Graham having approved the Special Prosecutor who indicted McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi not once, but twice, plus Ron Salgado, the father of current McHenry County Republican Party Chairman Sandra Salado, you can bet that some thought has been given to unseating the Judge.

Remember that Bianchi has over $100,000 in his campaign fund.

Judge Graham decided to retire, rather than be on the ballot again.


Judge Gordon Graham Retiring — 18 Comments

  1. Does this mean that the networks will no longer be playing “Let’s Make a Deal” and “The Price is Right?”

    Gosh Gordy, you better stock up on your favorite popcorn.

    More to be seen at a theatre near you…..

  2. Gordon E Graham
    Circuit Court Judges – Illinois

    Salary History

    2014 – $185,012
    2013 – $182,765
    2012 – $180,980
    2011 – $179,034
    2010 – $166,882
    2009 – $162,457
    2008 – $157,138
    2007 – $152,815
    2006 – $144,414
    2005 – $140,724

    Source: Open The Books Widget

    http://www.OpenTheBooks.com > Widget > State Salaries > Recipient Name > State: Illinois > Recipient Name > Graham Gordon > Search


    Pension System

    Judges’ Retirement System of Illinois

    Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS)
    Chapter 40 – Pensions
    40 ILCS 5/ – Illinois Pension Code
    40 ILCS 5/18 – Judges Retirement System of Illinois (Article 18)

    Employee Contribution is 11%, 8.5% without spouse.

    Retirement Eligibility Requirements

    Age 55 with 10 years (reduced)
    Age 60 with 10 years
    Age 62 with 6 years

    Reduction for Early Retirement:

    Age 55 with 10 years reduced 1/2 of 1% for each month below age 60

    Final Average Compensation is final rate of pay for members prior to 8-10-09.

    Judges who became a member after this date, pension is based on a four-year average.

    Fixed Benefit Formula:

    3.5% for first 10 years
    5% for over 10 years

    The Maximum Benefit is 85% of final rate of pay.

    Annual Pension Increase is 3% each January 1 following one full year of retirement at any age.

    Sick Leave: No credit for sick leave.

    There are also generous Disability and Death Benefits in the Judges’ Retirement System of Illinois.

  3. Fixed Benefit Formula:

    3.5% for first 10 years

    5% for over 10 years

    The 3.5% and the 5% are the accrual rates.

    These are very high accrual rates, amongst the highest you will see in any pension system anywhere.

    The General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) also has high accrual rates.

    Let say the Judge above retired in Year 2014 with a final salary of $185,012, after having worked 10 years, and he was age 60 or older (not sure of this judges age).

    10 x .035 = .35.

    $185,012 x .35 = $64,754.

    Starting pension would be $64,754.

    The sum of the 10 years salaries above is $1,652,221.

    We’ll assume the judge was married for all 10 years.

    From above the married employee contribution to the pension fund is 11%.

    So total employee contributions to the pension fund would be $1,652,221 x .11 = $181,744.

    $181,744 / $64,754 = 2.8.

    The employee will recoup their lifetime pension contributions after receiving the pension for 2.8 years.

    Life expectancy is probably in the neighborhood of 80 – 85 years.

    Let’s say the judge retires at 60, lives to 80, and starting pension is $64,754.

    Here’s how the compounded COLA increases the pension over 20 years.

    Year 01 – $64,754
    Year 02 – $68,698
    Year 03 – $70,758
    Year 04 – $72,881
    Year 05 – $75,068
    Year 06 – $77,320
    Year 07 – $79,639
    Year 08 – $82,028
    Year 09 – $84,489
    Year 10 – $87,024
    Year 11 – $89,635
    Year 12 – $92,324
    Year 13 – $95,093
    Year 14 – $97,946
    Year 15 – $100,885
    Year 16 – $103,911
    Year 17 – $107,028
    Year 18 – $110,239
    Year 19 – $113,547
    Year 20 – $116,953

    Adding the above figures, the lifetime pension payout over those 20 years (the sum of 20 years pension payments to the employee, the retired judge) is $1,845,928.

    Comparing the employee pension contribution of $181,744 to the employee pension of $1,845,928, we have a difference of $1,664,184.

    Where can you pay $181,744 and receive $1,845,928?

    Illinois Judges contributing to their pension plan, in the above scenario.

    Keep in mind the pension fund receives an employer contribution and return on investments and pension is a component of overall compensation.

    The accrual rate is also known as the benefit multiplier.

  4. Glad he is going!!

    his knucklehead cost this county lots of time and money when he appointed his fishing buddy’s to go after Lou Bianchi, on a witch hunt that proved NOTHING!!!

    This good ol boy should have stepped down after they found out nothing.

    But he will retire and collect a big pension.

    Hope he moves far away so we don’t have to see or hear from him again!!

  5. I wonder; which Judge will Dum Dum NOW pick on and hate for no reason other than Graham seems to have known the LAW, and how to apply it evenly across the board?

    Does this mean that the Pop Corn and Game shows are over?

    Oh my, what will Dum Dum come up with next?

    Stay tuned!!!!

    There are several judges that are going to be moving up and coming on board when he leaves

  6. Looks like the same deal Legislators cut themselves a few years back.

    Good luck getting pension reform out of Springfield when they have the most to lose.

    I wonder how many others are cueing up to get out, given the change in political winds, while the getting is good.

    Like rats on a sinking ship.

  7. He should forfeit his pension.

    He was part of the Bianchi escapade..

    Whats the matter Gordy, Bianchi didn’t pay to play?


  8. Gosh Gordy, what’s the “Pillsbury Dough Boy” gonna do with out you…..

    You will probably be a thought in the wind, as he continues to find ways to be fat and happy…

    Little does he know, that eventually his a…..s will be cooked!

    He may have to pay back all of the money he received fixing cases.


    How much were those transactions worth?

    Guess that puts the bagmen out of business.

  9. I have zero personal experience with this person — but from the story Cal wrote, “rats leaving a sinking ship” sounds correct.

  10. I think it’s called “retirement “.

    I’m sure he paid into his pension just like everyone else who’s had a pension.

    Playing by the rules the STATE set in place for pensions and retirement benefits doesn’t make him bad.

    Someone ASKED that a special prosecutor or investigating people be assigned in Bianchi case and I’m sure he had a list of people

    To choose from.

    The fact that they sucked at their jobs reflects on whom make up the list of people to use; certainly not the judge who followed the rules and used the list.

    Try again Dum Dum

  11. Followed the rules and used the list?….lol…lol…

    You go ahead “AZ” and continue to live in your fantasy world.

    Apparently, the scenery is nice.

    “AZ” is just one more rat.

  12. I’ve been dissed by much better than you can do,Dum Dum.

    Lots of butter please

  13. Duncan the goof never has anything to say except popcorn, popcorn, popcorn.

    Get a life bud.

    Gordy is a good man despite what you have to say. Your credibility is less than zero

  14. A horrible judge and a useless man.

    Once Nygren left, Graham couldn’t stand on his own two legs.

    You leave in disgrace, “Judge”…..and YOU know it.

    You defended the bad at the expense of the good.

    May God have mercy on you feckless soul.

  15. Common Law is indicting judges all across America.

    And you want a motivation for the retirement of so many judges at this particular time?

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