In an odd twist of fate, the death of an admitted Hired
Truck co-conspirator may have actually helped his widow, financially speaking.
Roger McMahon, who pleaded guilty to mail fraud in May 2005,
died Friday, Oct. 20, of cancer. However, the former city employee and a key
figure in the scandal-ridden city program had not yet been sentenced or had a
chance to appeal, which - under Illinois law - means he had not officially been
convicted, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Because of his death, his widow, Barbara, will receive at
least half of her late husband's pension, totaling about $75,000 a year, the Sun-Times
reported. Had he been sentenced and exhausted his appeals prior to his death,
his widow would've received nothing, per city policy.
"If the defendant dies prior to the time a defendant has
basically exhausted his appeals - and (McMahon) wasn't even close, he wasn't
even sentenced yet - everything gets abated," Irving Miller, and attorney
involved in the Hired Truck investigation, told the Sun-Times.
McMahon's situation is similar to that of the estate of Ken
Lay, founder of Enron, who died in July after being found guilty on 11 charges
of securities fraud and other related charges, but before he could be
sentenced. On Oct. 17, a judge vacated the conviction of the deceased Lay.