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The [Tuesday] Papers

"Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios should fire his son and sister, two of three relatives who call him boss in the government tax office he was elected to run in 2010," the Sun-Times reports.

"That's according to the county ethics board, whose members investigated the hirings and issued a 'finding of violation' detailed in a report marked 'confidential' and obtained by the Sun-Times. The board found he violated his fiduciary duties as well as a prohibition on hiring relatives laid out in the county's ethics ordinance."

Berrios counts Pat Quinn and Toni Preckwinkle among his allies.

*

"Berrios hired son and namesake Joseph 'Joey'' Berrios as a $48,000-a-year residential analyst and sister Carmen Berrios as director of taxpayer services at a salary of $86,000 just after the November 2010 election. The assessor later promoted both, and both have since seen a few pay boosts. The younger Joe Berrios, now chief of the land division, is now earning $69,285 annually while the assessor's sister - a deputy assessor of taxpayer services - is making $107,841, according to payroll records."

Berrios counts Pat Quinn and Toni Preckwinkle among his allies.

*

"The ethics board also looked into the employment Joe Berrios' daughter, Vanessa Berrios, but the report makes no mention of her.

"Vanessa Berrios was already working in the assessor's office when her father was elected. But Joe Berrios promoted his daughter and gave her a $10,000 raise and later another nearly $1,000 raise. Her salary is now $69,285.48, county payroll records show."

Berrios counts Pat Quinn and Toni Preckwinkle among his allies.

*

"Berrios, learned about the report when the Sun-Times contacted him Monday. He shrugged it off saying the ethics board doesn't have jurisdiction over his office.

"'To me it's not big deal, because I've been told by the state's attorney they have no power over us,' Berrios said, adding: 'In fact the state's attorney hired outside counsel for me in this case.'"

Berrios counts Pat Quinn, Toni Preckwinkle and Anita Alvarez among his allies.

*

"Asked whether he's going to consider removing his relatives from the payroll, Berrios said: 'I'm not going to do anything until my attorney tells me what the hell I should do.'

"He said his relatives work 40 hours a week and were 'instrumental' in helping the county get second installment tax bills, set to arrive in property owners' mailboxes in the coming days, out on time - the first time in 30-plus years."

Do the non-relatives in his office work less than 40 hours a week?

*

"He says his relatives are more than qualified to do the job, noting that they worked for him when he was at the county's tax appeals Board of Review and the ethics board didn't come after him then. He also notes that he didn't technically 'hire' his relatives, but instead 'transferred' them to his office."

Because political offices in Illinois are just divisions of the larger conglomerate of Combine, Inc. You can just "transfer" between them whenever the bosses approve.

*

"Berrios adamantly denies he's an old-school politician stacking the payroll with friends and family.

"'If I was an old school politician, I would have picked up the phone, had someone else hire them and I wouldn't even be answering these questions,' Berrios said."

Wait. So the old-school pol has someone else hire your kids for you but the new-school pol just does it himself?

Dear Joe Berrios: Congratulations, you not only Have It Backwards but you are Missing The Point.

Exhaust Pipe
Jesse Jackson Jr. Is Super Tired.

Executive Privilege
Mayor Rahm Emanuel Serves Up Own Food Truck Plan.

What, he's gonna drive around town and yell at you while throwing a donut in your face?

Exhausting Me
Dan Rutherford continues to pretend that he's doing the job he was elected to instead of running for governor.

Breaking: Eric Zorn Does Something Funny
Credit where it's due.

Groupon Is One Big Joke
And it's not funny.

Has Gospel Fest Been Ghettoized?
Make it big or go home.

The Marlon Byrd Supplemental Report
We were there first.

-

The Beachwood Tip Line: Making us thirsty.



Permalink

Posted on June 26, 2012


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock Including Riot Fest Highlights.
TV - No Rehabilitating Vietnam.
POLITICS - Trump's Farmer Heavily Subsidized.
SPORTS - The Cubs' Season In Verse.

BOOKS - Dots & Dashes.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Certified Angus Beef® Honors Chicago Stars.


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