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Gov says he didn't know adviser would get 38K for 2 months' work

Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Then-Illinois state Sen. Carol Ronen, D-Chicago, fields questions from the news media while on the Senate floor during session at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Monday, Jan. 10, 2005. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

Then-Illinois state Sen. Carol Ronen, D-Chicago, fields questions from the news media while on the Senate floor during session at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Monday, Jan. 10, 2005. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

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Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says he didn't know that former state senator Carol Ronen would get a much higher pension by working for him for two months.

Ronen, a Democrat, was elected to the senate from the North Side Seventh District in 2000. She resigned last year.

On March 1 this year, Blagojevich hired her as senior adviser. She resigned April 30.

The additional eight weeks of state employment hiked her pension by $38,000 annually, to $102,000 a year.

"It was my expectation, it was my hope, that she was going to work for us in a high place for the remainder of my term," Blagojevich said. "I also understand that she apparently heard the siren call of the Obama campaign. And so she made a decision to leave because she wants to work in the Obama for President campaign. So I guess you can say she left me for another guy."

The governor added that the state's pension system needs reform.

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