Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 - Berrios spox says Tribune story “extremely unbalanced and, typically, unfair” *** ILGOP, Kaegi react to new Tribune story on Berrios
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
*** UPDATED x1 - Berrios spox says Tribune story “extremely unbalanced and, typically, unfair” *** ILGOP, Kaegi react to new Tribune story on Berrios

Thursday, Dec 21, 2017

* The story referenced below is here. From the ILGOP…

“There’s a reason why J.B. Pritzker is silent on his allies’ use of patronage - Pritzker has been on the receiving end of Blagojevich patronage himself. If elected, J.B. Pritzker would use state government to dole out patronage jobs to his allies and cronies of Madigan’s Chicago Machine. Illinois taxpayers can’t afford J.B. Pritzker’s tacit approval of patronage and corruption.” - Illinois Republican Party Spokesman Aaron DeGroot

Two weeks ago, ProPublica Illinois and the Chicago Tribune published their latest installment in a bombshell report exposing the incompetence and corruption of Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios. The report said Berrios “failed” at his job and allowed political allies like Mike Madigan to profit from faulty assessments.

Now, ProPublica Illinois and the Chicago Tribune are out with yet another extensive investigation into Joe Berrios’ office. This time, it’s exposing his use of patronage, favoritism, and nepotism. From the investigation:

    Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios has never made any secret of his affinity for old-school politics that put a premium on loyalty and favors.

    … The monitors’ reports, reviewed by the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois, reveal a persistent pattern in Berrios’ office of improper hiring and firing, arbitrary staffing decisions and resistance to change. The pace of reform has been slow and the assessor’s commitment often tepid, records and interviews show.

Berrios, who is backing J.B. Pritzker for governor, isn’t the only Pritzker supporter who has a problem with patronage. Pritzker supporters Jesse White and Mike Madigan both have been accused of a “pattern of patronage” in their offices and using state agencies to put loyal precinct captains in plum state jobs.

But why is J.B. Pritzker silent on his allies’ use of patronage?

Because he’s dabbled in their same corrupt system himself. Pritzker was on the receiving end of Blagojevich’s patronage, receiving a state appointment and attempting to get another. If elected, J.B. Pritzker would use state government to dole out patronage jobs just like his crooked allies - Blagojevich, Madigan, White, Berrios, and more.

* Kaegi campaign…

Following is a statement from Fritz Kaegi, the progressive Democrat running against embattled incumbent Assessor Joe Berrios in the March 2018 primary election, in response to the latest Chicago Tribune and ProPublica investigative report on nepotism and political patronage in the Cook County Assessor’s Office.

“Reports that Joe Berrios continues to operate in flagrant violation of the Shakman Decree confirms what many have known for years–that the current Assessor is only concerned with lining the pockets of his family and connected political allies while the taxpayers of Cook County continue to pick up the tab.

“When we began our campaign, I committed to fully implementing all Shakman requirements– and going beyond them to give the taxpayers of Cook County the confidence they deserve in a property tax assessment system that is fair, equitable and transparent for all. Cook County’s is the largest assessor’s office in the country, and needs staffers that are qualified and committed to reforming the assessment process. Cook County has the diverse talent needed to fix this problem and we are committed to building a diverse, qualified workforce that reflects our communities and protects our values. Berrios’ corruption, nepotism and patronage places an unbearable economic burden on working families already struggling under the Trump and Rauner administrations’ backward economic policies.”

*** UPDATE *** From the assessor’s office…

The writers of this Tribune story selectively omitted many key facts. These facts were given to one of the writers as part of approximately 27 emails and 11 phone calls over seven weeks.

The important information the Tribune did not present to readers includes that the court-appointed Monitor for Shakman accepting the Assessor’s Office Employment Plan four years ago (11/22/13). A new Monitor later decided to change that acceptance and start virtually from scratch.

The result was another year-and-a-half before implementation of the plan. Clearly, that lengthy delay was not due to the Assessor’s Office being “slow” to comply.

This story also states that the Assessor’s Chief of Staff was “rarely involved” in Shakman compliance efforts but it fails to note we hired a new Chief of Staff nearly three years ago. Three years. This new Chief of Staff has ordered complete compliance with Shakman.

Further, a new human resources chief was hired nearly three years ago. The current HR chief has also been aggressive and thorough with the goal of complete Skakman compliance and we are now at the point of full material compliance; only technical points remain. Most of what the Tribune wrote about is years-old.

Numerous references were made to the firing of the Director of Compliance (DOC), Deborah Ellis, but the Tribune failed to mention that the Shakman Monitor agreed to that change. It would not have happened without Shakman’s consent. A new DOC was hired nearly two years ago.

The Tribune’s choice to include none of these facts made the story extremely unbalanced and, typically, unfair to Assessor Berrios. It is also unfair to the Assessor’s Office HR Director, HR personnel and Shakman-specializing attorney who have brought us to near-completion of our goal of full Shakman compliance.

Tom Shaer, Deputy Assessor for Communications
Cook County Assessor’s Office

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - RNUG - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 12:15 pm:

    Patronage in the Rauner administration … how about we just start counting with Munger, then her former top staff at the Comptroller’s, and go on from there with the various other ghosts …

  2. - Pyrman - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 12:26 pm:

    The ILGOP should tread lightly regarding patronage, some of Rauner’s moves at IDOT will become public before the election.

  3. - Anonish - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 12:30 pm:

    He who is without patronage shall call for the first warrent

  4. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 12:40 pm:

    Why is Illinois in trouble, yes because of politicians like Berrios. It would be nice to see some comments that can acknowledge this rather than the childish, “But the other kids are doing it too!”

  5. - Pieroge tirebiter - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 12:54 pm:

    And when kaegi gets in he’s not going to put in some of his own people? I’m putting on my rubber boots

  6. - Rabid - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 1:04 pm:

    ILGOP does newspaper reviews, do you think jeanne is a fringe candidate, that doesn’t deserve he time of day, is the primary rigged for Rauner, what is your threshold for a debate

  7. - David D. - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 1:04 pm:

    “Meanwhile, the federal court monitor would review the claims of workers fired unfairly, detail developments and help push for progress until the office was found to be in compliance.”

    Better to have the monitor than not to have one, I suppose, but it sounds like the role lacks teeth and is completely unable to actually achieve any progress.

  8. - The young gov - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 1:05 pm:

    This Tribune article reminded me to revisit the incredible First Tuesdays at the Hideout episode from October 2016 with Ben Joravsky, Mitch Dumke and Joe Berrios. I have the day off so I re-listened:

    My highlights:
    Mitch: I have to ask you, was this system fair? It seems to us that you believe in the old school patronage system and it treated you well on one level and you had opportunities. On the other hand, this era you are talking about in the 60s and 70s, the whole west side was Hispanic and African American, and was still being led by old white guys who were tied to former Mayor Daley. So was the system fair? Explain how it was possibly fair and good for the people you were serving.

    Berrios: You’ve got to remember that in our area the Hispanic migration was coming. You would be surprised under the old system how many people we were able to help on a day to day basis. We were able to get city jobs for them. Of course they became members of the organization. Let’s be honest. The deal back then was, you worked the precincts and after a year or so you proved that you could do the job and they would help you get a job in city or county government. They created a lot of opportunities for Hispanics in our community. If you look at the other communities, those people were given opportunities that they would not have gotten. Back then, the drop-out rate in the Hispanic community was 89-91% from high school. They didn’t have an opportunity to go to college, let alone get out of high school. It created opportunities for people who would not have had an opportunity back then. This was a way to stabilize families, get a position, maybe a garbage man. I never thought I would be an elected official. I wanted a garbage truck job.

    Ben: But that same organization that gave jobs to loyal members was the same organization that was responsible for discriminatory practices in the park district and the schools for years and years of historical discrimination. Did you ever have a hard time struggling with that contradiction? A few people were being helped, but the larger people were not.

    Berrios: We were willing to help everyone. If they were willing to come in and help. Back then…I took a class in college where Vito Marzullo came in one day. I had [Dick] Simpson as my teacher and I never told him I was with [Alderman] Tom Keane. Vito Marzullo came in and one of the questions from the class was “You get jobs for people who volunteer..” and Simpson tried to say something and Vito said “You sit down, you invited me here. Let me talk and say what I have to say.” And Vito Marzullo was straight up and he told him, “Listen, who am I supposed to help? Someone I don’t know or someone who comes in and shows me they are willing to work and they have a great family. I am supposed to help someone who helps me. I’d rather have someone in a position that I know is gonna do a good job because if they don’t do a good job, I’m going to get a phone call. I don’t want to put anyone in a position that would embarrass me or the organization.” So they helped me and a lot of people who would never have gotten an opportunity if it weren’t for the political games.

    “I was double dipping. You know the story. I was a State Rep, but I worked at the Board of Review as an accountant. Believe me, I had a big family.” - Berrios

  9. - Foster brooks - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 1:08 pm:

    Plum state jobs? Ya if you want to work until your 67

  10. - Sue - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 1:51 pm:

    Typically things in Illinois government only change when the Feds get involved. There seems to be sufficient levels of corruption within Berrios’ office to invite scrutiny from the 5th flood at 219 S Dearborn. One can only hope the USA is going to have a look see

  11. - Sugar Corn - Thursday, Dec 21, 17 @ 4:11 pm:

    ==some of Rauner’s moves at IDOT will become public before the election==

    such as?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until Memorial Day
* Population loss threatens home rule powers
* Rauner appears open to yet another expansion of the death penalty
* New Rauner online ad slams Pritzker over Madigan (again)
* Attendance issues
* It's just a bill
* A couple more weird Republican candidates slip through the screens
* Senate ignores IRS warning, passes tax work-around bill
* Mayor Emanuel's bill sponsor: "This is NOT a carjacking bill"
* Stop Illinois Big Coal Bailouts
* Today's quotable: "It's just show-biz"
* The taxes no one wants to talk about
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...









* Spaulding Veteran Memorial hosts Memorial Day c.....
* Conservative group slams effort to reinstate de.....

* Air quality warnings posted for balance of holiday weekend
* Chicago photographer's project shows disparities in the city
* Chicago-area man facing drug charges captured in Mexico
* Illinois school apologizes after backlash over yearbook
* EXCHANGE: Child of refugees completes journey to graduation
* EXCHANGE: Education, artistic talent combined in K-9 kits
* Vote expected on new Chicago police training academy
* Cases of fired pathologist reviewed after wrong rulings
* Jack Johnson's niece visits grave after posthumous pardon
* Indiana man receives life term in 7 women's deaths

* Bernard Schoenburg: Prosecutors question quick return to death penalty
* Statehouse Insider: Legislature puts on the breaks
* Plan for Springfield casino floated again, but won't be part of expansion this year
* Illinois House divided on allowing police drone surveillance at events
* Downstate lawmakers propose reinstating death penalty
* Bill to allow police drone crowd surveillance in limbo in Illinois House
* House OKs bill to pay $63M in back wages owed to 24,000 workers
* Lawmaker charging retaliation wants complaint system changes
* Bill to give Sangamon County first dibs on state jobs passes Senate
* Illinois House considers using marijuana to fight opioids

* Chance, six others depart DuSable board in shakeup
* The opioid treatment gap
* Detroit offered $4 billion for Amazon HQ2
* Fiat Chrysler recalls 4.8 million vehicles over cruise-control flaw
* ComEd bills are rising this summer—and more after that

* Woman found strangled to death in West Garfield Park
* More LGBTQ issues loom as justices near wedding cake decision
* Joshua Holt arrives in US after being jailed in Venezuela for 2 years
* Meeting draws people angry over fatal police shooting in Virginia
* Southern states prepare as Subtropical Storm Alberto heads north
* “Hero teacher” released from hospital, U.S. Rep says
* Anderson, Abreu power White Sox past Tigers
* Chicago sees hottest Memorial Day weekend in 5 years, hitting 90 degrees
* Cubs put Yu Darvish on 10-day disabled list with triceps tendinitis
* Bale’s scissor-kick gives Madrid third consecutive European title

* American jailed in Venezuela for 2 years arrives in U.S. with family
* North and South Korean leaders hold surprise meeting in DMZ to get U.S. summit back on track
* Florida declares state of emergency as storm Alberto approaches
* Cubs rotation will have to find its bearings without Yu Darvish for now
* Cubs catcher Victor Caratini heads to the minors for more playing time
* Chris Paul receiving regular treatment to return for Rockets
* Senate aide's backchannel with 'Dracula' helped free Utah man in Venezuela
* Trump accused media of using a ‘phony’ source. It was a White House official giving a press briefing.
* Man held on 30K, accused of firing shots off Marina City balcony
* 5 things to know about Six Flags' new Hangover thrill ride

» Elgin Teachers Roundly Reject Novel Contract
» State Week: Budget Optimism, Retaliation Charged In House
» Police Drone Surveillance Measure Crashes In Illinois House
» WBEZ’s Chicago and Illinois News Roundup: May 25, 2018
» Web Extra, The Week in Review: NFL Policy a Fumble?
» The Week in Review: Madigan Faces Retaliation Claims
» Reuniting Families with Military Medals; Author Chibundu Onuzo; Best Illinois Books
» #652 Give the Drummer Some
» Despite IRS Warning, Illinois Senate Approves Federal Tax Workaround
» May 24, 2018 - Full Show

* Bernard Schoenburg: Prosecutors question quick return to death penalty
* Our View: Aldermen should not rescind TIF dollars for downtown renovation
* Statehouse Insider: Legislature puts on the breaks
* Angie Muhs: Happy to welcome another Reader Advisory Board
* Plan for Springfield casino floated again, but won't be part of expansion this year
* Illinois House divided on allowing police drone surveillance at events
* From the battlefield to the basketball court – Arlyn Lober survived WWII and dedicated himself to teaching
* Downstate lawmakers propose reinstating death penalty
* Bill to allow police drone crowd surveillance in limbo in Illinois House
* House OKs bill to pay $63M in back wages owed to 24,000 workers

* Significant Strutures: Urbana's Stephens Building
* One dead in Whiteside County rollover crash
* Can food assistance program in Peoria be fixed?
* Class 3A Regional Title HS Baseball: Central vs Mt. Zion
* Indoor fun in the summer
* Enjoy the beautiful outdoors picking apples, sipping wine
* Decatur's Avenue of Flags honors those who served
* Morthland College is closing, according to an attorney for the West Frankfort school
* Escapetown Peoria, a new escape room business, set to open in July
* Roads Report: Harristown bridge over U.S. 36 closed until November

* Marine wants families to see true stories of loves one lost in war
* Chicago White Sox have their eye on OSU's Madrigal
* Cubs place Darvish on 10-day DL for second time this season
* 5 new suburban events and exhibits coming this summer
* Full-time police resource officer considered for District 70 schools

* Newtown Action Alliance demands Paul Ryan ...
* Shimkus discusses tariffs, opioids and oth...
* Facebook co-hosting a Boost Your Business ...
* US Congress asks Pai why he keeps ignoring...
* EDITORIAL: Sign your names, GOP Congressme...
* How the House Intelligence Committee Colla...
* US Congress asks Pai why he keeps ignoring...
* A conversation with Lonnie Bunch
* Star Wars Day in Joliet offers much fun fo...
* 2 wonderful women have plenty to share in DC

* Joshua Holt, American Held In Venezuela Fo......
* The Latest: Trump welcomes freed American ......
* The Latest: Holts had worried their releas......
* The Latest: American jailed in Venezuela r......
* Freed Utahn Josh Holt boards jet headed fo......

* EXCLUSIVE: Attorney general hopeful Zephyr......
* Sen. Tammy Duckworth expresses support for......
* After push from 2 Philly moms, Amtrak adds......
* Sen. Tammy Duckworth Backs NFL Players Who......
* How area members of Congress voted on vets......

* Racial Diversity in EdTech: Little Data Available and A Lot of Work Ahead
* Unbundling the 4-year degree: How to design education for the future
* How to overcome 10 digital learning challenges
* How Can We Improve Accessibility Through Instructional Design?
* Where Are All the Faculty in the Open Education Movement?
* Using Google to Maximize Student Organization and Productivity
* EXTRA: Are you sure immigrants are taking over everything in this nation
* Volokh: Blocking of Twitter Users from @RealDonaldTrump Violates First Amendment
* Former Jewel store lot at 83rd/King Drive is for sale...
* Study: 2013 School closings hurt Chicago’s children. But CPS CEO Janice Jackson says she will not be deterred from closing schools.

* IEMA Releases New Broadcast Campaign Focusing on Functional Needs Emergency Preparedness
* Rend Lake Water Conservancy District Water Main Break
* Statement from Gov. Rauner
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May
* IEMA Highlights Role of Volunteers in Disasters

* Weekly poll results: Two-thirds of people love the OnePlus 6
* Deal of the day: 45% Off Fader Stealth self-flying drone
* Let’s take a look at the new YouTube Music (hands-on)
* Cloud computing sticker shock is now a monthly occurrence at many companies
* New York City’s subway disaster now has its own 8-bit video game
* Leaked Xiaomi Mi 8 retail box confirms dual camera, dual GPS module and no 3.5mm jack
* Snow, the Korean Snapchat clone, now has its own version of Animoji

* Anderson leads homer-heavy barrage vs. Tigers
* Anderson leads homer-heavy barrage vs. Tigers
* Chisox offense overheats in Detroit, paces 8-4 win
* Shields aims to add to hot streak vs. Tigers
* 2018 MLB Draft Profile: Jonathan India
* White Sox Minor League Update: May 25, 2018
* White Sox falter late, fall in Motown, 5-4

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
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

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