Sunday, July 19, 2020

Feds cast wide net on Berrios, get records on gov’s Gold Coast mansion, 118 other properties

From Chicago Sun-Times:

Prosecutors in Chicago obtained records on a wide range of property tax appeals to then-Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios. Among the clout-heavy law firms involved are ones headed by House Speaker Michael J. Madigan and Ald. Edward M. Burke.

Joseph Berrios on federal investigators’ interest in property tax appeals by law firms that contributed to his campaign funds: “It’s news to me.”
 Max Herman/Sun-Times file photo

Federal prosecutors have made a series of requests to the Cook County assessor’s office over the past five months for records regarding the $330,000 property tax break that Gov. J.B. Pritzker got on a Gold Coast mansion — a break he got in part because the toilets were disconnected during a stalled remodeling job.
Records obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times show the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago has asked Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi for all emails and any other communications dating to 2012 regarding the tax break that Kaegi’s predecessor, Joseph Berrios, gave Pritzker.
As they continue an investigation prompted by a Sun-Times report in May 2017, they have asked for information including the name of every employee who, under Berrios, “worked, reviewed and/or approved” the tax break for one of the two mansions Pritzker owns on North Astor Street. Pritzker reimbursed Cook County the full value of the tax break in 2018.

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