may lose $79,000 a year in retirement benefits after being found guilty of murder last week.
Under state pension law, Peterson can lose his pension benefits if the pension board decides he used his "police powers or even his skills as a veteran officer" in murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Peterson retired as a sargeant from the in 2007, just short of 30 years of service, according to the Trib.
Typically the law targets those convicted of embezzling or taking a bribe, according to the Chicago Tribune. Proving the argument in Peterson's case will be more difficult, said Jeff Goodloe, a Libertyville attorney, in the Trib.
"It's a heinous crime, but there didn't seem to be a connection to his service as a police officer," he said.
However, it has been used in the case when someone's professional skills could be linked to a crime, such as a firefighter committing arson, Goodloe told the Trib.
The police pension board cannot rule on the matter until after Peterson's sentencing on Nov. 26.
Richard Reimer, the attorney for the pension board, told the Trib he had requested transcripts of the trial to prepare a report for the board. Peterson is also allowed to bring witnesses and evidence to support his side.
Peterson's attorney Joel Brodsky told the Trib he doubted whether Peterson would lose his pension.
"His pension is safe. ... That money goes to his kids now anyway, even though I'm sure (State's Attorney) Jim Glasgow would like to see them thrown out in the street," Brodsky said.
"It's not like the trial. You would have to present actual evidence to the pension board, and they don't have that."