Chicago Tribune Reveals Extent of Rod Drobinski Pension Scam


.. the health care company Abbott Laboratories accused Drobinski of collecting more than $19,000 in monthly payments from his mother's pension fund after she died and refusing to refund the money.

Drobinski, a Lake County prosecutor, collected the payments between June 2005 and January 2007, the complaint alleged.

"He needs to be held accountable for that," Yingling said. "And voters need to know about that before they vote for him."

In a court ruling, Drobinski was eventually ordered to pay the money back under an agreement reached by the parties involved.

For his part, Drobinski said he notified Abbott about his mother's death within two weeks and said, "it was their mistake." He said he didn't know the pension payments continued to be made.

Bonnie Berger-Neel, a former Abbott employee who worked for 32 years in the company's diagnostics division, said in an email that it is "completely implausible that Drobinski was unaware for a period of 18 months that his mother's pension continued to be paid." Abbott mails a statement every month, she said, and Drobinski, as executor of his mother's will, also should have received an annual tax form.

"There are many Abbott retirees living in our community, and we are aghast that a lawyer employed by the State's Attorney's Office would keep that money in the first place, and then fight paying it back," Berger-Neel wrote.

Yingling said Drobinski's explanation is meant to "cover up the fact that he executed this pension scam."

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