Granberg: I had plans to turn DNR around
The State Journal-Register
Kurt Granberg, the former state representative fired Wednesday as director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said Thursday he doesn’t know if his pension will increase as a result of the two-week stint.
“I didn’t do this for the pension,” he said. “I wanted to work. I wanted to turn DNR around.”
Then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed Granberg to the post Jan. 16, which is after Blagojevich was arrested on federal corruption charges in December.
The appointment was criticized because Granberg resigned his House seat before the Jan. 9 House vote to impeach Blagojevich.
Granberg, 55, was a state representative for 22 years, making him eligible for a pension of $73,000 a year.
According to state law, if Granberg — whose appointment had not yet been approved by the Senate — was on the DNR payroll, he is eligible for a pension of up to 85 percent of his yearly salary that would have totaled $133,273.
That means his annual pension would have grown by about $40,000.
Questions remain, however, because Gov. Pat Quinn withdrew Granberg’s appointment prior to Senate confirmation.
“I don’t’ know what (the pension) is,” Granberg said Thursday. “I haven’t heard a legal opinion on it, and I don’t know.
“I didn’t even know the salary for the position until I read it in the paper.”
Granberg said the circumstances are frustrating because he was supposed to have been appointed to the DNR job more than a year ago.
“We’ve been working on plans for DNR for over a year,” he said. “We had a whole package of things we were going to do, but now we can’t implement it.”