“Troopergate” Outrages Illinois Taxpayers

An analysis released by Illinois Taxpayer Education Foundation (ITEF) reveals just how much the Illinois State Police (ISP) is costing Illinois taxpayers. At the end of 2009, more than 35% of the 2,000 state troopers—that’s 743 people, to be exact—had salaries in excess of $100,000. Leading the way were Lt. Carl Anderson at $189,015, Master Sergeant Manual Lebron at $184,863 and Sergeant Walter Valentine at $175,452. Eighty-four employees made more than Director Jonathon Monken’s salary of $132,566.

“The Top 100 ISP Salaries averaged an amazing $142,000 per year,” said Jim Tobin, ITEF President. “This is outrageous because, with the possible exception of the state crime lab, virtually all of the state police force is superfluous and can be done away with. This would save Illinois taxpayers at least $300 million a year.”

“Why does the ISP need 22 fingerprint technicians and 300 forensic scientists?” asked Tobin. “And why are there 129 Public Service Administrators at an average annual salary of $85,000? What exactly do these people do for the Illinois taxpayer?”

“Is there a need for 700 highly paid supervisors for 1,100 troopers? Do these same troopers really need 56 Captains (average salary $133,000), 78 Lieutenants (average salary $121,000), 295 Master Sergeants (average salary $109,000), and 234 Sergeants (average salary $107,000) in order to do their job? I don’t think so.”

Commenting on ISP Director Monken’s “threat” to lay off 460 troopers, Tobin says: “Illinois taxpayers are currently paying top dollar for over 2,000 state troopers whose primary job is to generate revenue for their respective counties by ticketing those same taxpayers.”

“Monken estimates the expected loss in “citation revenue” to be $12 million per year, but the cost savings would be $58 million (which includes $41M in salaries, $5M in fringe benefits, and $12M in pensions). So who cares if the government loses $12 million in speeding ticket fines? Furthermore, if the state kept only the police lab, estimated savings would total at least $300 million out of the $410 million ISP budget.”

“Eliminating the Illinois State Police is an example of how Illinois state expenditures can be cut by $300 million without reducing essential service.”

Click here to view “Troopergate” Part 2

Download the Top 100 Illinois State Trooper Salaries

Download the print version of this ITEF Comment

18 Responses

  1. John Doe says:

    This information is interesting however, I would like to know what prompted Jim Tobin to report on it now? It’s been like this for decades. The state police do an exceptional job and deserve every penny. Also what is his salary, lets post his W2’s.

  2. steve kline says:

    Here you go again , the people on top of your list all retired in 2009, and the amounts include their end of career payouts. If you want to get on something why not deal with these end of career payouts, no one will because of the unions, Edgar did end the unused 1/2 day sick time payouts in 1998, which Thompson started in 1984.Also look at how many state police retire within 6 months of getting a promotion or being given acting pay.

  3. admin says:

    Dear John,

    There is no sense in responding to your comment until you provide your real name and state police badge number.

  4. Lance Duryea says:

    Wow! Looks like you hit a nerve with your expose. I didn’t realize our intrepid state troopers had a sensitive side.

  5. David Jenkins says:

    Amazing. Bravo. Encore. Job well @#$% done.

    Don’t let up on this one. I think this one really resonates; especially with folks downstate.

  6. Felix Derzinsky says:

    As to John Doe’s comment that “it’s been like this for decades,” well, it hasn’t. It is much worse now and besides, the time frame doesn’t make it right anyway.

    As to the supervisors, pretty soon, every state cop will be one; all chiefs and no Indians.

    I guess the six figure incomes are there to make sure the troopers don’t augment their income with bribes.

  7. Bill Dietz says:

    Jim Tobin is so right on. Most goverment workers don’t understand what the little people (who are paying their salaries) are going thruogh, making cuts to survive. I say cut all goverment workers (who are above the median income) %5 per year in pay and retirement until the budget is balanced. Then you won’t have to lay off anyone.

  8. Bonnie Preusser says:

    These guys never come near a place like Englewood! bp

  9. admin says:

    Mr. Kline,

    It is common for government employees to get a large raise just before they retire, which substantially increases their pension payments. Public school administrators are experts at using this trick to help themselves and their government school teachers.

    Furthermore, I would not regard Jim Edgar as some kind of hero. He and Thompson were the biggest tax-raisers in Illinois. In 1989, Thompson raised the state income tax, while Edgar raised it again in 1991 and 1993. That’s three state income tax increases by two Republican governors.

    For more information, you should read this recent news release about Edgar.

    P.S. Might you also be an employee of the state police?

  10. David Williams says:

    There are many civilians within the State Police who do not even come close to making what the top 35% of the sworn do. These folks are at the bottom and do the actual ‘day-in day-out’ grunt work such as answering emergency phones and providing assistance to those in need on our state highways. These jobs cannot be ‘farmed out’ to local agencies without placing a great burden and passing on a large increase in expense to local governments. Your savings would be negated by having to spend an untold amount to increase telecommunications infrastructures and man power for hundreds of local police agencies not equipped to extend emergency services onto the state highways and into state parks, etc…(especially downstate). This at a time when many local agencies are cutting back severely. In downstate Illinois (which covers a pretty good chunk of real estate) many of these essential services are not superfluous and easily duplicated or replaced especially without tremendous cost.

    Oh and by the way when I retire in approx 2015, I get to take home 50% of my salary which I paid into. It will be approximately $35,000 a year.

    I will agree that the agency is extremely top heavy and overpaid. It sounds to me like you have issues with the salaries and the policies of the upper command. But do not paint the entire organization with such a broad stroke and assume that it does not provide essential services. To say that it can be easily replaced without cost to the taxpayers is very irresponsible.

  11. admin says:

    Dear Mr. Williams,

    Thank you for your response. Though we disagree, it is helpful to have an exchange of views.

    What is a good salary is highly subjective. I do not consider a salary of $70,000 to be a modest salary, and the pension you will be receiving as a retired state police employee, $35,000, is higher than many salaries in the private sector. I do not believe government employees are, or should be a, privileged class in our society.

    Our state has been spending taxpayer dollars recklessly, and it must do what private firms do in hard times: cut spending drastically.

    I do consider state troopers to be superfluous. Perhaps it would be desirable to keep the state crime lab, but Illinois citizens are served by local and county police. Taxpayers in municipalities have no control over state spending with regard to the state police, but in the absence of the state police, they would have control over spending for county services. If they felt they needed more county police services, they have the right to vote to increase their property taxes to beef up the county police forces. If they consider such services not worth a property tax hike, they will do without these increased services. Nothing in life is free.


    Jim Tobin, President

  12. Lance Duryea says:

    The only “services” most Illinois residents receive from state troopers are speeding tickets.

    The 2,000 state troopers and most of the 1,500 “support” personnel should be laid off. They will not be missed.

  13. Jim Smith says:

    A Trooper must have wallpapered you with tickets. That you desire, to help the state out.

  14. Joseph Louis says:

    What an enlightening article. What are the salaries of the Illinois Commerce Commission Police and the Illinois Conservation Police? I believe that all would like to see these as well.

    Thank you.

  15. Paula Massaro says:


    Great expose! How about the fact that ISP Exempts under the Merit Board also don’;t have to take the Governor’s mandated 24 unpaid fulough days. How about the fact there were over 100 promotions of ISP Troopers last year! While “civilian” exempts have not had raises, promotions and must take unpaid furlough days.

  16. darren says:

    how’s come the top teacher and state police salaries won’t pull up when i click on them? did they get taken down?

  17. admin says:


    The links appear to be working. They’re PDF documents so you need Adobe Reader to view them.

  18. Mike Scilingo says:

    Thank You Jim, The real criminals wear suits, others have badges and guns and both rob the peoples treasury while the average person trying to obey the rules is taxed to death. Illinois is among the top states losing population because of this blatant immorality. It’s because of how my income is pillaged by these parasites that I’m leaving this snake pit called Illinois. In Illinois Crime Pays and pays Lavishly! SHUT UP YOU TAXPAYER; PAY UP OR I’LL STEAL YOUR HOUSE!

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