A veteran Chicago fire lieutenant who is serving a lengthy prison sentence for beating his second wife to death has been receiving a pension check from the city that has amounted to $840,000 since his incarceration, MyFoxChicago.com reported.
Eugene Ornstead, 76, applied for his firefighter's pension days after he committed the murder, the station reported. He is not eligible for parole until he is 100.
In 1994, the veteran Chicago fire department lieutenant beat his second wife to death in their home, MyFoxChicago.com reported. Then, he stuffed her body in the trunk of his car and drove to Racine County, Wis., where he told police they had been kidnapped.
Before his conviction on first-degree murder charges, Ornstead resigned from active duty in a handwritten letter and put in for his pension, reminding the fire department he's still owed his furlough and mileage checks.
Documents show Ornstead receives more in his pension check because he is considered a "sole survivor," the station reported.
"I would characterize it as immoral," Bill Zettler, a pension expert, told the station, but pointing out that under state law it is entirely legal. "Why should the taxpayers be paying a pension to somebody who's in prison for life?"
I am really surprised they don't have a law against this. On one side he did earn the pension, but once you murder someone and go to jail you would think one would have to forfeit pension benefits.
The old law about an eye for an eye leaves everybody blind. -- Martin Luther King Jr. If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. -- Abraham Maslow We fear what we don't understand. -- Aesop