4 Ways Dennis Hastert Made Enough for Possible 'Hush Money' Scandal

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois had plenty of funds from which to draw the $3.5 million in apparent "hush money" he stands accused of paying for decades-ago sexual misconduct that made him the subject of a federal investigation and indictment, says the Chicago Tribune.

During his time in Congress, and then after resigning in 2007, Hastert had several sources of income that the Tribune says could explain how Hastert planned to pay the "Individual A" who was named in his May 28 indictment.

Hastert has been accused of subverting banking laws to escape the notice of federal authorities as he withdrew large sums of cash from several accounts. The indictment says the cash was meant for "Individual A" as compensation for and incentive to keep quiet about "past misconduct." Unnamed law enforcement officials later told the media the misconduct was sexual in nature and occurred at some point during the time when Hastert was a high school teacher and wrestling coach in Yorkville from 1965 to 1981.

The Tribune analyzed how Hastert could have been making enough money to promise Individual A $3.5 million:

  1. Congressional salary: $165,200

  • Federal lobbyist at Dickstein Shapiro salary: As much as $1 million to $2 million a year
    • His lobbying work with Lorillard Tobacco, Maersk Inc. and Service Master made his company $11 million between 2008 and 2009.

  • His lobbying work with Illinois companies such as CenterPoint Properties and PolyBright International Inc. made his company about $190,000 between 2009 and 2014.
  • He also lobbied Congress on behalf of countries such as Luxembourg and Turkey.
  • Three government (Illinois' Teachers Retirement System, General Assembly Retirement System and congressional) pensions: $116,349 a year
  • Farmland in Illinois and Wisconsin, and his and his wife's Plano, Illinois, home, are believed to have had a net worth between $2.1 million and $10.3 million in 2007. They also own land in Florida.
  • Check out five more ways Hastert earned money over the last several years at Reboot Illinois.

    Sign up for our daily email to stay up to date with Illinois politics.