Illinois Police Institute Features Bob and Anna May Miller’s Pensions

From the Illinois Policy Institute:


Voted out of office in 2017 amid allegations of patronage and waste, Algonquin Township’s former highway commissioner has since found work at neighboring townships – while collecting a handsome pension from his former employer.

Bob Miller

Former Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Bob Miller and his wife Anna Miller, the former Algonquin Township secretary, left their respective township posts in 2017, after Miller lost re-election amid allegations of improper spending and patronage hires.

But that hasn’t stopped the stream of taxpayer funds.

In McHenry County – one of the most overtaxed counties in the state – the couple receives a generous annual retirement payout, according to records from the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, or IMRF.

Just one year after voters ousted Bob Miller from his post, he and Anna are already receiving a combined annual pension payout totaling just under $100,000, taking in $72,300 and $26,400, respectively.

Throughout the couple’s combined 59 years of public service – during which Bob Miller had been accused of using taxpayer money to pay for personal items, doling out illegal bonuses to employees and hiring family members to high-priced positions – the two had collectively contributed $161,400 to the retirement fund.

In addition to collecting a pension check, Bob Miller has continued to charge McHenry County taxpayers for township services. Shortly after losing re-election in Algonquin Township, Miller landed a contract with nearby Nunda Township, where he has been paid $40 per hour as a “consultant.” In 2017, Miller charged McHenry Township for hundreds of dollars in consulting services. The family’s political sway even won full-time jobs at Nunda and Wauconda townships for their two sons-in-law.

The Millers’ retirement gambit underscores lawmakers’ failure to solve two key issues: the state’s broken pension system and its thousands of wasteful, redundant layers of government.

Illinois has more than 1,400 townships, which frequently duplicate or overlap with other forms of municipal government. These unnecessary layers of government create waste, and often lack transparency.

Miller’s patronage hires and alleged abuse of taxpayer funds are not exceptions. Officials in neighboring townships – such as Nunda and McHenry townships – have hired each other’s sons to positions unadvertised to the public. Nunda, along with Grafton and Algonquin townships, have been the subject of criminal investigations into misuses of taxpayer money. The investigation into Algonquin Township led McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally to conclude that townships are a “deeply flawed” form of government, prone to “incompetence, guile and impropriety.”

Townships also contribute to the growth in pension costs overburdening taxpayers across the state. Over the last 20 years, current township pensioners in Illinois have received more than $273 million in pension benefits, with two of those pensioners having each accumulated more than $1 million total, according to IMRF records.

State lawmakers set the rules for Illinois’ broken pension system, and they are the ones who must enact reforms that bring costs in line with what taxpayers can afford. In the short term, that means enrolling new government workers into 401(k)-style retirement plans. This would provide a better future for taxpayers and government workers alike. In the long term, however, it means amending the state’s constitution to allow for changes to future, unearned benefits for government workers.

At the local level, lawmakers should aggressively pursue sensible consolidation efforts. With nearly 7,000 units of government, Illinois has far and away the most government units of any state in the nation. Thankfully, McHenry Township voters will have the option this November to vote to consolidate their township road district, a small but meaningful step in the right direction. But that option should be afforded to all taxpayers across the state – who are likely to welcome fewer taxing bodies on their property tax bills.

If lawmakers refuse to take steps such as these, taxpayers will continue to pay among the highest property taxes in the nation.


Illinois Police Institute Features Bob and Anna May Miller’s Pensions — 32 Comments

  1. BREAKING NEWS: retired government employees receive a pension!


  2. Cal Skinner’s pension for 24 years of service will be $101k next year.

  3. James Condon hired Bob Miller at McHenry Township.

    That’s one reason why I will be voting for abolition of the Road Dist. Commissariat in November.

    Here are other reasons:

    “State law gives townships only three obligations: to assess property for tax purposes, to maintain roads in unincorporated areas and to provide general assistance to the poor.


    Tax assessments often are made by untrained township assessors who set their own policies, make their own rules and treat taxpayers unequally and inequitably.

    While townships maintain residential roads only in unincorporated areas, they tax all township property even if it’s within an overlapping municipality, in which case the property owner ends up paying to maintain unincorporated roads along with his or her own city’s or village’s.

    And in providing aid to the needy, township supervisors arbitrarily can set their own eligibility criteria and benefit levels, doling out taxpayer money for food, rent and other assistance as they alone deem fair.

    Just as troubling, townships often maintain bloated bureaucracies, favor patronage payrollers and hoard cash that rightfully should be rebated to taxpayers.”


  4. The source as always was openbooks if you care to look yourself.

  5. Nob’s math be off, but you, cal, receive at least 85,000 too much for you coat-tail ride from your Dad.

    Still a joke. after all these years.

    And that ain’t no fake news.

  6. Never thought I’d see fake news on the blog.

    Just to be clear, township assessors must have proper training and continue training.

    Township taxes collected within municipalities for road maintenance are forwarded on to that municipality.

    Rules for granting general assistance(public aid)are very specific and are not arbitrary at all. I knew you would want to know>

  7. Preston Rea is correct.

    Back when I passed the test for Certified Illinois Assessing Officer, it required basic knowledge of the three approaches to value.

    The assessor’s course was much, much easier.

    Perhaps it is more difficult now.

  8. **Think your math is off again.**

    Then tell us the correct math?

  9. Preston Rea, like all township officials, has a little trouble with telling the whole truth.

    He says township taxes from municipalities are returned to the municipality.

    The truth would be 50 % of the road and bridge fund goes back to the municipality.

    However, not a dime from the permanent hard road fund goes to the municipal taxpayer.

    In other words out of every dollar of taxpayer money only 25 cents goes to the municipal taxpayers and 75 cents goes to the township.

    Another rip-off by the township road district.

    I’d be interested in Rea’s explanation of how general assistance is monitored and who oversees the supervisor’s decisions.

  10. The roads in this state are provided for everyone’s use .would those of you that crab about the Township road taxes like all the roads to be like the toll road and pay every time you use them.

    On any given day I would think that a lot of people use County roads,Twp roads and State roads with out any thought of who has paid for them or who maintains them.Its called being for the common good.

  11. Preston, Do we have to waterboard you to get at the whole truth.

    It’s not torture, Bush and Obama said so.

  12. Preston Rea for TOI Spokesman! But why not TOI President, he’ll be better than Bobby Miller, won’t he?

    Why is his property assessed so low???

    People wanna know!

  13. A quick quiz about government spending: Should the purchase of a $329 Levenger purse be regarded as a legitimate government expense? What about bills for dinner and drinks at Hooters, or tickets to Disneyland? Or $349 for cashmere and cardigan sweaters, and a wool coat?

    The answer is no way, underlined and in bold. Yet these were expenses charged to township credit cards at the Algonquin Township highway commissioner’s office, when it was led by Robert Miller, the Tribune’s Robert McCoppin reports. Those and other expenses paid for with taxpayer money under Miller’s watch are now the subject of a lawsuit filed by the current highway commissioner, Andrew Gasser, who is challenging their validity.

    What about this Township Supervisor Rea, do you approve or disapprove?

  14. Preston, aren’t you supposed to be a Republican. They’re the party of small government. Not the party of governmental waste, expansion and crookedness. Do suburban and urban counties really need townships?

    The general assistance angle for townships is a Big, Fat Joke. With the ready availability of food stamps, Welfare, Medicaid, etc., this township assistance has been supplanted by the Federal and state government. Does it make sense to pay for a Township Supervisor(and his fat pension) plus THREE STAFFERS [McHenry Township] to go over a handful of assistance applications? Answer NO!!!!

    It’s really time to get rid of this anachronism. A bunch of Illinois counties did this during the Depression, including my Grand Dad’s Morgan County. When they got rid of township Supervisors and Road Commissioners, they also axed all the township assessors, so things were standardized and more fair. See

  15. Best chuckle of the day, “The source as always was openbooks if you care to look yourself”.

    Then several comments in defense, because Nob knows more about Cal’s pension amount than Cal does?

    “If you care to look for yourself”, LOL

  16. No, I do not receive a pension for my work for Alden Township.

    No one else receives a pension in Alden Township.

    If I wanted to hide my position as a Township Supervisor I would hide my identity like you do.

    I have disclosed my position many times on this blog.

    All applicants for general assistance receive a form explaining their rights and how to appeal the decision of the Township.

    The appeal goes to the County Board Public Assistance Committee which is led by the Chairman of the County Board.

    Not all townships have a permanent road fund.

    This is a fund that is created by the voters of the township including those in the municipality.

    All townships are not the same so the broad brush approach used by anti-township groups do not always hold true.

    All officials elected in Alden Township are independent of a political party.

  17. Cal is welcome to correct the information if he would like.

    But I don’t find it overly relevant. What we know is that Cal attacks public sector pensions, and gives a platform for others to attack public sector pensions, while collecting a very large public sector pension himself.


  18. Evidently Preston Rea chose not to answer the question of who oversees the township supervisor’s choice of who receives general assistance.

    The supervisor has total discretion in how the money is dispersed.

    If questioned, the supervisor claims privacy issues.

    i wasn’t asking how someone can appeal a decision.

    This is so typical of township officials, talk around the issue and act like that’s an answer.

    Well, it’s not good enough and nothing justifies one person having this type of total control of taxpayer money.

  19. Mr. Rea, don’t you get a pension when you retire, not when you’re still on the township pay.

    It’s high time people like you were reigned in.

  20. Watcher , perhaps if I repeat the answer enough times you will understand.

    The supervisor has no discretion on who receives general assistance.

    A binder four inches thick provides the rules for general assistance.

    These rules are set forth on the basis of a judicial consent decree from a law suit on just this subject.

    Having an appeal process is pretty good oversight in my book.

    Just because you keep saying the same false information does not make it true.

  21. No KevinG, I do not get a pension from the township or any other government entity when I retire.

    What part of what I do needs to be reigned in.

    I would suggest that you know nothing about Alden Township government or how it operates.

  22. There you go again, Rea.

    A four inch binder is a guide, not oversight.

    No one person should have such complete, unscrutnized control of taxpayer dollars.

    ou saying the appeals process is oversight is just township talk.

    I’m sure the person who might need help is about to go through an appeals process.

    Just because you repeat the same old township justifications doesn’t make them true.

  23. Preston Rae for TOI poster boy!

    Preston, who do answer to: a) Your vanity; b)TOI; c) Taxpayers of Alden Township (other than Preston, his family and cronies?

    I added that last part to c so if you picked c, you couldn’t worm out of the question using your Guidebook Book of Tricks.

  24. Just providing facts bulldog.

    Didn’t provide any judgement one way or the other.

    The voters of Alden Township are who I answer to.

    Guess that would have to be option d).

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