Pension Board: Investigate Ex-Paramedic's Injury Claims

Serratore has collected more than $425,000 in disability payments from the city of Chicago since 1982


 
 

TIM NOVAK AND CHRIS FUSCO, Chicago Sun-Times | | Monday, September 24, 2012


CHICAGO -- Chicago pension officials want the Cook County state's attorney's office to investigate Gregory J. Serratore, a former paramedic who claims to be permanently disabled from an on-the-job injury in the early 1980s but has been working as a police officer for the Cook County Forest Preserve District for the past 21 years.

Serratore has collected more than $425,000 in disability payments from the city of Chicago since 1982, after injuring a hand while trying to fix a stalled ambulance.

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Several doctors have filed reports saying he was left permanently disabled, unable to return to work as a Chicago paramedic.

But after being injured and leaving the Chicago Fire Department on disability, Serratore went to work for the forest preserve district as a police officer.

The board members of the city's Municipal Employees' Annuity and Benefit Fund - which sends Serratore his monthly disability checks - voted Thursday to refer Serratore's case to the state's attorney for a possible criminal investigation.

Serratore, 55, of Crestwood, couldn't be reached for comment.

This is the second time in the wake of a Chicago Sun-Times investigation into government disability pay excesses that city of Chicago pension officials have asked the state's attorney's office to investigate a city employee who has collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in disability pay.

Last month, the city's police pension board asked the prosecutor's office to open a criminal investigation of former police Officer Charles T. Siedlecki, who has taken up big-game hunting while collecting more than $700,000 in disability pay,

Siedlecki, 57, who now lives in LaPorte, Ind., has been off the job since he reported injuring a shoulder while chasing teenagers nearly 20 years ago in Beverly. Siedlecki says he couldn't safely fire his police weapon.



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