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Pension board: Investigate ex-paramedic’s injury claims

Gregory J. Serratore is permanent disability collecting pay as an injured Chicago Fire Department paramedic while also working as Cook

Gregory J. Serratore is on permanent disability, collecting pay as an injured Chicago Fire Department paramedic while also working as a Cook County Forest Preserve District police officer. | Scott Stewart ~Sun-Times

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Updated: October 25, 2012 6:08AM



Chicago pension officials want the Cook County state’s attorney’s office to investigate Gregory J. Serratore, a former paramedic who claims to be permanently disabled from an on-the-job injury in the early 1980s but has been working as a police officer for the Cook County Forest Preserve District for the past 21 years.

Serratore has collected more than $425,000 in disability payments from the city of Chicago since 1982, after injuring a hand while trying to fix a stalled ambulance.

Several doctors have filed reports saying he was left permanently disabled, unable to return to work as a Chicago paramedic.

But after being injured and leaving the Chicago Fire Department on disability, Serratore went to work for the forest preserve district as a police officer.

The board members of the city’s Municipal Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund — which sends Serratore his monthly disability checks — voted Thursday to refer Serratore’s case to the state’s attorney for a possible criminal investigation.

Serratore, 55, of Crestwood, couldn’t be reached for comment.

This is the second time in the wake of a Chicago Sun-Times investigation into government disability pay excesses that city of Chicago pension officials have asked the state’s attorney’s office to investigate a city employee who has collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in disability pay.

Last month, the city’s police pension board asked the prosecutor’s office to open a criminal investigation of former police Officer Charles T. Siedlecki, who has taken up big-game hunting while collecting more than $700,000 in disability pay,

Siedlecki, 57, who now lives in LaPorte, Ind., has been off the job since he reported injuring a shoulder while chasing teenagers nearly 20 years ago in Beverly. Siedlecki says he couldn’t safely fire his police weapon.



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