Bauman Says Buh-Bye

A few readers have asked why I’ve paid so much attention to the NY Common kickback scandal, and virtually none to a semi-similar situation in Illinois. My answer is basically mea culpa, although the local Illinois press did a much better job covering their backyard mess than the NY press has done covering theirs.

But it is worth noting that Jon Bauman yesterday stepped down as head of the Illinois Teachers’ Retirement System. The move wasn’t terribly surprising, given that the post-Blago governor had already passed legislation to have Bauman fired on July 1 (and you thought the AIG bonus tax was selective). Still no allegations that Bauman was corrupt, just that he should have recognized ongoing corruption and reported it to the authorities. Instead, it seems that he waited until the authorities came to him (at which point he provided lots of valuable info).

In an April 6 memo written to TRS staff — and obtained by The State-Journal Register — Bauman wrote:

“Anyone who thinks they could have made better decisions than I did under the totality of the circumstances present nearly five years ago should apply for the vacant TRS executive director position and put their perfection to work… I feel like a guy who disarmed a bank robber and then got arrested for not having a Firearm Owners’ ID card.”

Bauman and I emailed yesterday, and are scheduled to chat today. I’ll post about it at peHUB. If nothing else, it should be colorful…