SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
How did nobody notice this?

Tuesday, Aug 26, 2014

* There was a time when newspapers had reporters in all the courts buildings. But this very significant ruling last Thursday didn’t get noticed until late yesterday afternoon

Cook County’s internal government watchdog recently won a round in his legal battle for authority to probe the offices of all countywide elected officials, but Assessor Joseph Berrios continues to challenge Inspector General Patrick Blanchard on the issue.

Circuit Court Judge Franklin Valderrama last Thursday ruled Berrios must comply with a Blanchard subpoena of documents relating to an assessor’s office employee who allegedly received a homeowner’s tax exemption to which he was not entitled. Berrios, who is represented by the state’s attorney’s office, intends to appeal, according to a news release issued by Blanchard.

Berrios resisted the initial subpoena, issued in August 2012, saying he was not required to comply as a separately elected countywide official. After months of legal wrangling, in June 2013 Blanchard sued to force Berrios to comply and get a declaration that countywide elected officials are subject to his subpoenas.

Valderrama concluded that Blanchard, whose office was created by the separately elected County Board and president, does have the authority to probe fraud and mismanagement in all of county government. “The IG ordinance requires the assessor, like every other county officer, to cooperate with and comply with the IG,” Valderrama stated in his ruling.

* Perhaps this chart from a couple of years ago could explain it…

* But, heck, even Berrios didn’t know

[Valderrama] suggested that both state and county officials could conduct investigations. Furthermore, he wrote that if lawmakers want to bar Blanchard from investigating officeholders such as Berrios, they need to pass a law specifically limiting his authority.

Reached Monday, Berrios said he was unaware of the court’s ruling. But he expects his attorney — the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office — to file an appeal.

“The state’s attorney is the one doing the case,” Berrios said. “They are the ones pursuing this, and they’re the ones telling me what to do.”


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    In all fairness, stories about water-skiing squirrels have gone up significantly during the same time period. And who doesn’t want more of that?

  2. - walker - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 10:33 am:

    It’s been a long hard slog for Toni P to clean up the multi-layered tar pits of Cook Co. Now her own broom can take a another swipe at Berrios — and not just within the Party organization where she has already had a positive impact.

  3. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    Under appeal.

    I tend to agree with Berrios. The governor’s IG cannot subpoena the State Treasurer, and I think we all understand why.

  4. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    == The state’s attorney is the one doing the case ==

    Anita Alvarez should simply decline to defend the case any further or appear, just as she did with the marriage cases.

    That anyone could defend Joe Berrios as being above oversight is nauseating, especially after the way he publicly flouted hiring rules. If any office could use some scrutiny, it is his.

  5. - Da Moat - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    YDD is exactly correct. The ASA needs to move to stay the order pending appeal if they did not already do so.

  6. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    @YDD - maybe I misunderstood. Does Berrios’ office have their own, separate IG?

    I thought Blanchard was basically “the guy” for Cook County Commissioners and elected officials.

  7. - CircularFiringSquad - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    There is a lot of case law on the county offices and Berrios is probably right.

  8. - A guy... - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    The party isn’t over, but it’s nice to occasionally see someone flick the lights a little.

  9. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    It looks like Berrios may be in trouble. The court has already ruled that Blanchard has every right and full authority to investigate Berrios. From the January 16 S-T

    == Judge rules against Berrios, says county watchdog can investigate tax office

    Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios has publicly said the county’s watchdog has no authority to investigate him, but a Wednesday court ruling says the inspector general has every right to scrutinize operations at the tax office. ==

  10. - olddog - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    And how did the Trib get the story? It’s right there in the second graf: “… according to a news release issued by Blanchard.”

    At least they don’t pretend it’s a “scoop.” Your ad revenue chart says it all.

  11. - DuPage - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    After reading about very expensive IG undercover investigations uncovering such scandals as someone having food at his desk, I would agree with Berrios. Creating new IGs and ordering them to go on fishing expeditions against political adversaries should not be allowed.
    I don’t like Berrios, but he is right in this case.

  12. - Lobo Y Olla - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    =The state’s attorney is the one doing the case=

    Anita Alvarez should simply decline to defend the case any further or appear, just as she did with the marriage cases.
    Anita Alvarez declined to defend the “marriage case” because her client (David Orr) did not want to pursue the case. If Berrios wanted the State’s Attorney to refrain from filing an appeal, He could ask her to do that.

  13. - Marty Funkhouser - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    It’s shameful. The SJ-R has had no one working the Sangamon County court on a daily basis since roughly 2009. They do court stories, but they’re dependent on tips and news releases. Nobody is going over there and scouring the dockets everyday.

  14. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    === Berrios said he was unaware of the court’s ruling. ===


  15. - overcooked - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    This just might hurt his re-election bid, oops, he is running unopposed

  16. - Frank G. - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 12:22 pm:

    Not only is the court “beat” be abandoned by newspapers, so too are village board and school board meetings. Many of the local weeklies have gone out of business or have cut staff to the point where they only run press releases. In the Chicago area, the downtown papers never cover suburban board meetings…so a whole lot of government activity is going on without media scrutiny.

  17. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 1:18 pm:

    Frank G. - =…so a whole lot of government activity is going on without media scrutiny.=

    Perhaps another good reason to reduce the number of units of local government?

  18. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Aug 26, 14 @ 1:49 pm:

    I don’t know anybody but my 73 year old father who actually reads a hard copy of a newspaper anymore. So I’m not sure I’d waste money advertising in those. As far as online ads, I might consider it but I’d take into account whether the site was a paid site or not. I refuse to pay for online news access.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Happy Thanksgiving!
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Five unanswered questions
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Question of the day
* Caption contest!
* Crossing the line
* Moody's warns Illinois
* The Credit Union Difference
* *** UPDATED x1 - Franks responds *** Uh-oh
* Then and now
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* Black Friday 2015 US sales on mobile topped $900 million, 74 percent via iOS
* Microsoft Devices holiday gift guide
* Half-glass Google Glass patent sighted, possibly with touch
* Sony Xperia Z5 Premium officially launches in Canada before the US
* HappyID gives you important contact information when you need it
* Amazon and Best Buy drop Fire HD 10 price to $170 today only
* Cricket ups the savings ante with 50 percent off Samsung Galaxy S6, S5, and S4

* Non-tender deadline looks familiar for White Sox
* Detroit Tigers make AL Central's first big splash with Jordan Zimme...
* South Side Sox' SB Nation MLB Awards voting results
* Starting Pitcher Rankings: Chris Sale and Jose Quintana maintain st...
* Scouting profile: Adam Engel
* Alex Avila will try to shed limitations with White Sox
* White Sox program provides kids real chance


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* POLITICO Illinois Playbook: PROTESTS rock Chica.....
* Task Force Prepares Final Recommendations For I.....
* Legislators, Rauner must compromise - Northern .....
* Gov Rauner and Legislative Leaders to Meet Tues.....
* Illinois Human Services Groups Call For 2-Year .....
* Government cost-savings group prepares - Herald.....
* Closer Look: Task force looks to shrink Illinoi.....

* Man in custody after bodies found in Lake County home
* Report: SAFB considered for new spy agency office since 2005
* Chicago announces expansion of police body-camera program
* No notable delays for holiday travelers at Chicago airports
* Closer Look: Task force looks to shrink Illinois government
* EXCHANGE: Joliet educators work with Hispanic families
* EXCHANGE: Chaplains offer support to terminally ill
* Grant supports Alzheimer's research by Peoria professor
* Rockford-based waste services company sold to Texas firm
* 3 teens killed in northern Illinois crash

* 'Pot doctors' pushing boundaries in Illinois, other states
* Burger King manager: Police erased video of Chicago shooting
* Local free community college plans may be template for U.S.
* Rauner faces challenges in move to block refugees
* Vendor Payment Program suspended due to budget impasse
* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attack
* Springfield jobless rate falls again, to 5.1 percent
* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Number of Illinois inmates released on parole climbing

* Threat of violence prompts U of C campus shutdown
* Tribune newspapers likely to be sold off, Murdoch says
* How a big deal is changing Chicago's hotel market
* Crain's names Danielle Narcisse copy chief
* What's new at Roti? Its name and a national ambition

* Trump scraps endorsement event after black pastors object
* Chicago Teachers Union plans strike vote on Dec. 9: report
* Obama visits Bataclan, site of French terror attack
* Niklas Hjalmarsson skates swiftly and carries a big stick
* Bears may offer suite life at ground level
* Officials see uptick in historic renovations in Springfield
* Task force looks to shrink Illinois government
* WATCH: Patrick Kane’s goal breaks NHL record
* Patrick Kane sets American record with 19-game point streak
* Kings rally from 2-0 third-period deficit to stun Hawks in OT

* 1 dead, 6 injured in separate shootings on South, Far South, West Sides
* Building collapses in Back of the Yards
* 3 injured in crash after police chase stolen van with child inside
* U. of C. cancels Monday classes after threat to Hyde Park campus
* CPD to expand body camera program for officers
* Man accused of hiding roommate's body in suitcase held without bail
* Climate change demonstrators hold rally, march in Loop
* 3 dead, 5 wounded in Chicago shootings
* Police: Mother, son found dead in Beach Park; 'person' of interest in custody

* James Durkin: Compromise needed to restore Illinois' standing
* Bernard Schoenburg: Book on Blagojevich impeachment lets reader 'be right there'
* Andy Shaw: It's time to crack down on no-bid contracts
* 'Pot doctors' pushing boundaries in Illinois, other states
* Burger King manager: Police erased video of Chicago shooting
* Kristina Rasmussen: Relying on one another, not the government
* Charles Krauthammer: The Syrian immigration cul-de-sac
* Rob Elliott: EPA ethanol ruling affects more than energy policy
* Local free community college plans may be template for U.S.
* Rauner faces challenges in move to block refugees

* From the archives: Virginia Theatre marquee
* Top of the morning, Nov. 30, 2015: From the archives
* Top of the morning, Nov. 30, 2015
* N-G Top 10: Girls' basketball (Nov. 30)
* Girls hoops: Three December games, tourneys to watch
* Daniels' All-Big Ten individual award selections
* MJ's Preview: 17th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge
* Cubit working with clean slate
* Illini grapplers take three wins in New York
* Volleyball will travel to Louisville for NCAA tourney

* Dawn Patrol: Two 'suspicious' deaths in Beach Park; Dist. 41 parents say fees too high
* Lombard's 'rules' for what's going north of Yorktown mall
* Pyke: How traffic controllers rebounded after Aurora sabotage
* Global stocks down ahead of US data, Fed speeches
* Heat check: Coaching carousel turns into roller coaster

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Durbin Backs Duckworth - Alton Daily News...

* Manchin, Kirk introduce bill targeting gov......
* Opinion: Sen. Kirk must stand with crimina......

* Sixteen shots. The story that broke the silence.
* Epiphany déjà vu.
* Political apathy? Or will they commit a late rally and do something stupid!
* Prosecutors drop charges against Malcolm London.
* “Here [Goldman Sachs] seem to have either performed a miracle, or these kids weren’t in line for special education in the first place.” New York Times, 11/4/15.
* FAQs about FWIW -- for those who came in late
* James Edward Hanlon, Jr. interviewed on NTNM
* Jail killer cops. Not Poets. #FreeMalcolmLondon
* Random thoughts.
* Free Malcolm London.

* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller