A number of years ago Watchdog posted an article critical of Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall double-dipping pension funds by receiving two pensions at the same time. One police pension, and one from the City of Naperville. Afterwards I began thinking, would I do that if it was offered to me, and my answer was ‘of course I would’. That being the case, how could I be critical of Marshall for doing the same thing. It wasn’t illegal. it wasn’t even unethical. He earned every dollar. He paid his dues climbing the ladder of responsibility from being a patrol officer, pulling vehicles over at 2:00 in the morning (with each and every encounter possibly going terribly bad), to leading a police department facing more-than-difficult decisions every day.
I felt terrible about publishing that posting, embarrassed to say the least. It was the low point in Watchdog’s 11 years of posting. Shortly after, my wife and I were accepted to participate in Naperville’s 2018 Police Academy. It was at that time I was able to apologize in person to Chief Marshall. He couldn’t have been more gracious in accepting my apology.
Fast-forward five years, and now it’s Mayoral candidate Benny White taking incoming heat for not paying property taxes as a result of a state exemption granted to military veterans because of a medical disability. Veteran’s are granted a $2500 annual property tax exemption if they have a service-related disability of at least 30%, and $5000 for disabilities of more than 50%. White who has a disability of more than 70%, though he would not disclose his disability, is exempted from all property tax payments.
White retired from the Army in 2008 after serving for 21 years and has not paid property taxes for at least five years. For tax year 2021, White would have paid almost $18,000 without the exemption. It’s not illegal, nor is it unethical. Is he gaming the system? It’s definitely not a good look, especially for someone aspiring to become the mayor of Illinois’ fourth largest city. That’s for the voters to determine next Tuesday April 4th.