Our Pledge To You


Sneed: Growing worries among pension fund trustees

Mayor Rahm Emanuel.. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times


Grab the Excedrin!

Sneed is told trustees of the city pension funds are getting increasingly nervous about the prospect of the Municipal Employees Annuity and Benefit Fund paying out $900 million a year in benefits — but taking in only $300 million a year in revenue, according to an informed city source.

“At the rate it is going, the fund — which has 79,000 city and board of education employees, which also includes widowers and children — could go broke in 2025,” the source added.

• Backshot: Two weeks ago, an Illinois Supreme Court decision made Mayor Rahm Emanuel go back to the drawing board when it overturned his plan to save two pension funds about to run out of money — which included the Municipal Employees fund. Emanuel’s initial plan hoped to raise employee contributions by 29 percent and end compounded cost-of-living adjustments.


The Ryan report . . . 

Former Gov. George Ryan is now an author.

Sneed is told Ryan, whose wife died while he served 5 years in federal prison on corruption charges, has just sent a manuscript titled “Still Standing” off to a literary agent.

“It’s done,” Ryan told Sneed. “Finally.”

Ryan, who has been working on an autobiography/memoir with veteran news reporter Dave Urbanek since he was released from prison in 2013, still lives in the Kankakee family home he shared with his late wife, Lura Lynn, who died of cancer while he he was incarcerated at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind.

“Dave’s been helping me organize my thoughts,” said Ryan, who claims the book focuses on his political career, the investigation previous to his federal corruption trial, the trial itself and his time in two federal prisons.

It also highlights Ryan’s crusade to end the death penalty.

“The book includes those George dealt with during this time like Barack Obama, Fidel Castro, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert and President George W. Bush — and life in prison,” Urbanek said.

In the unedited manuscript, Ryan states:

“Everybody has a nickname in prison: “Hoghead.” “Cowboy.” “Hillbilly.” “Leach.” I was “Guv,” of course. It kind of stuck from the first week I arrived.”

Now isn’t that a surprise.

The police blotter . . . 

Top cop shop: Plans are afoot for the City Council to approve the appointment Wednesday of Mayor Emanuel’s selection of Eddie Johnson as his new top cop.

“At last peek, the City Council Public Safety Committee — led by Ald. Ariel Reboyras — were planning to submit a City Council amendment nixing police board ordinance rules requiring a second police board search,” a top City Council source said.

“It looks like there is a consensus to enable Emanuel to erase the word “interim” from in front of Eddie Johnson’s name,” he said.

There ya go.

Obamarama . . . 

So here’s why President Obama’s eldest daughter, Malia, hitched a ride with her dad on Air Force One on Thursday — which touched down in Chicago for a short visit before heading to Dem campaign fundraisers in Los Angeles.

She is still in the process of deciding which college to attend, and word is University of California at Berkeley is on the list.

Hey, hey!

A special birthday shoutout to the ultimate Cubs fan: Dorothy “The Seventh Inning Lady” Farrell, who reportedly has been a Cubs season ticket holder for the past 40 years and goes to 90% of the games — on her 90th birthday.

Sneedlings . . .

I spy:. Cast members Kadeem Hardison, Charnele Brown and Jasmine Guy from the popular ’90s T.V. series “A Different World” spotted dining at C Chicago on Wednesday night. . . . Saturday’s birthdays: Marc Jacobs, 53; Hugh Hefner, 90, and Leighton Meester, 30. . . .Sunday’s birthdays: Shay Mitchell, 29; John Madden, 80, and Steven Seagal, 64.