A week after Drew Peterson was handed a 40-year sentence for trying to hire a hit man to kill the state’s attorney who put him behind bars for murdering his third wife, the former cop sued to get back his police pension.
Peterson is almost certain to die behind bars, thanks the the four-decade term that was tacked onto the 38 years he’s already serving for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
But at his sentencing Friday for hiring a hit man to kill Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow, Peterson said that he had felt suicidal since landing at Menard Correctional Center, but he took comfort in knowing his pension payments were still supporting his two minor children.
But Peterson noted those payouts were stopped in June by the village Police Pension Fund Board, nearly four years after he was convicted of murdering Kathleen Savio. The pension board vote came, coincidentally, the day after a jury in Randolph County found Peterson guilty of soliciting a fellow inmate at Menard to rub out Glasgow.
In a rambling, 25-minute speech to Judge Richard Brown, a haggard-looking Peterson said his life inside Menard was “Hell” and that he didn’t expect to live out the sentence he was serving for Savio’s murder, much less the four decades for the attempted hit on Glasgow.
Peterson had retired from the Bolingbrook Police Department in 2007, not long after his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, disappeared. Peterson collected more than $70,000 a year in a pension from the department, but in a long-delayed ruling in June, the pension board said that despite serving 30 years on the force, Peterson was no longer entitled to payouts because he had used his “specialized police training, skills and ablilities to plan and commit” Savio’s killing.
Savio was found dead in the bathtub of her Bolingbrook home in 2004, about six months after she and Peterson had divorced. Medical examiners ruled her death was an accident, but Glasgow said that Peterson had killed her and used his training as a crime scene investigator to remove incriminating evidence from the scene to make it appear that Savio had struck her head in a bathtub.
Peterson’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, argues that just being convicted in Savio’s death does not allow the board to revoke Peterson’s pension benefits, noting state law requires there must be a “clear and specific connection between the felony committed and the participant’s employment.”