Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x2 *** Pritzker mansion toilet removal deemed “scheme to defraud” by inspector general
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*** UPDATED x2 *** Pritzker mansion toilet removal deemed “scheme to defraud” by inspector general

Monday, Oct 1, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Tina Sfondeles with the big scoop

Cook County’s chief watchdog has concluded that more than $330,000 in property tax breaks and refunds that Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker received on one of his Gold Coast mansions — in part by removing toilets — constituted a “scheme to defraud.”

Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard also recommends in the confidential report that Cook County should try to recover the money from the billionaire. […]

Blanchard writes in the report — obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times — that the Cook County Assessor’s office was “the victim of sworn affidavits containing false representations.” […]

“The evidence indicates that the use of these affidavits was part of a scheme for obtaining money by means of false representations and, in executing the scheme, the responsible parties caused checks to be issued by the Cook County Treasurer and delivered by U.S. Mail according to the direction thereon. […]

“As a result, the County ultimately fell victim to a scheme to defraud, executed in part through the use of affidavits, and which resulted in the property owner ultimately receiving property tax refunds totaling $132,747.18 for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014, as well as additional tax savings of $198,684.85 for the years 2015 and 2016,” the report states.

Uh-oh.

According to the story, one of the affidavits was signed by Pritzker’s brother-in-law. Another was signed by Mrs. Pritzker’s personal assistant.

…Adding… Oof

Under a header “Evidence of a plan to Defraud Cook County” the report includes a work order email dated Oct. 5, 2015 from a project manager to a plumbing company vice president states M.K. Pritzker, J.B. Pritzker’s wife, wanted the toilets pulled.

“She is going to have the house re-assessed as an uninhabitable structure,” the email says. “To do this, she would like to have us pull all toilets and cap all toilet lines in the house. Then after the assessment, she would like us to put the 1st Floor toilet back in and have this as the one functioning bathroom in the place (she will then be finishing out the front room for JB’s [Jay Robert ‘J.B.’ Pritzker’s] hangout/meeting are].”

The full IG report is here.

*** UPDATE 1 *** The Rauner campaign got this one out quick…

“This Inspector General report proves what we knew all along - JB Pritzker is a fraud. From the very beginning, Pritzker was devising a corrupt scheme to defraud Illinois taxpayers by ripping toilets out of his mansion. This wasn’t a standard appeal as Pritzker claimed. Instead, he lied to voters. It’s clear from Pritzker’s repeated use of fraudulent tax dodging that he doesn’t have the character and integrity to be governor.” - Will Allison, Rauner campaign Communications Director

As I write this (4:46 pm), Pritzker is holding an event with Hillary Clinton and tons of reporters. Click here. Timing is everything.

…Adding… As I’m reading through the report, it appears that one of the problems is that Pritzker’s brother-in-law signed an affidavit claiming the property had “no functional bathrooms” from January 1, 2012 through October 15, 2015. However, the toilets were apparently only removed on October 5, 2015 - ten days prior to the affidavit signature.

…Adding… Reading further, however, it looks like there’s an overstatement on the part of the inspector general. “The property has been vacant and uninhabitable since January 1, 2012.” And then the next sentence is: “There are no functioning bathrooms or kitchen.” So, the Pritzkers didn’t actually claim that there had been no toilets since 2012.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Pritzker…



       

120 Comments
  1. - OneMan - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 4:36 pm:

    Looks like he is going to have to get out the checkbook again…


  2. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 4:36 pm:

    October surprise.


  3. - Taxpayer 1 - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 4:38 pm:

    A Billionaire who can’t spend 30k, great.


  4. - Reserved - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 4:39 pm:

    Pretty sure the inclusion of the phrase “delivered by U.S. Mail” is quite intentional and “Uh-oh” is quite appropriate here.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 4:39 pm:

    ===According to the story, one of the affidavits was signed by Pritzker’s brother-in-law. Another was signed by Mrs. Pritzker’s personal assistant===

    Yikes.

    Again, if this is “all new”

    Youse guys just dropped annutter $20 mil this week, and ya couldn’t drop a mil to get all dis taken care of?

    Geez Louise…


  6. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 4:41 pm:

    ===“…Then after the assessment, she would like us to put the 1st Floor toilet back in and have this as the one functioning bathroom in the place (she will then be finishing out the front room for JB’s [Jay Robert ‘J.B.’ Pritzker’s] hangout/meeting are].”===

    This is bad-bad… not just garden variety bad… it’s like… wow, that really bad… bad.


  7. - Evanstonian - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 4:42 pm:

    Wow. The fact that this obviously was a scheme to defraud doesn’t change the fact that I’m shocked he might have to face some consequences.

    Of course, I’m sure the consequences are paltry and wouldn’t stop him, or any other billionaire, from doing it again.


  8. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 4:43 pm:

    I asked this before, and I will ask it again — When this first came out, why didn’t he just write a check, say it was a mistake and put it behind him? This is walking around money for him. So dumb.


  9. - Montrose - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 4:43 pm:

    Why? Just why? Aside from being a dumb idea generally, I am sure he was contemplating running for office when this all went down. Didn’t someone say “It might not be worth trying to save a few bucks with this scheme.”?


  10. - Matt P. - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 4:44 pm:

    Yet families earning over $140,000 need to “pay their fair share” according to JB.


  11. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 4:48 pm:

    The Pritzker Crew proves, constantly and consistently, thst they are utterly lacking in competency in knowing their own oppo…

    …and correcting the correctable before things blow up.

    It’s been a constant, continual thing that should make you wonder… “how competent can they be?”

    You spend $146+ million, it covers lots of sins… but not competency.


  12. - blue dog dem - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 4:49 pm:

    In all fairness to JB. Did he even know this was happening?


  13. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 4:50 pm:

    –Pretty sure the inclusion of the phrase “delivered by U.S. Mail” is quite intentional and “Uh-oh” is quite appropriate here.–

    As in, federales?

    Now there’s a shot in the arm for Rauner.

    Let’s see if BTIA(TM) gets it right this time. Don’t go for laughs like you did before (because toilets), go for anger, about a billionaire cheating.

    Many, many months ago, Pritzker should have done a mea culpa and written checks to all the impacted taxing bodies. The money’s chump change for him.

    This one is going to hurt.


  14. - Crispy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 4:53 pm:

    Is this enough to tank his candidacy? Did his … retentiveness … about what for him were piddly amounts of money just flush his prospects? Bummer. …


  15. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 4:54 pm:

    –As in, federales?–

    The federal mail fraud statute as well as the state perjury statute are cited in the report. No recommendation is made to refer the case for charges, and the report notes that happens very rarely from that office. However, the first recommendation is to use whatever means to obtain the money that the county was defrauded of from the taxpayer.


  16. - Sad - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 4:54 pm:

    Knowing all this I still wouldn’t vote for u Bruce


  17. - TopHatMonocle - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 4:54 pm:

    This has got to be one of the dumbest scandals of all time. For god’s sake, you’re a multi-billionaire. Aren’t there more interesting things to be thinking about than your toilets. I thought Pritzker had weathered the storm on this, but the timing and seriousness of this report is the only opening Rauner has and it’s going to get ugly.


  18. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 4:57 pm:

    ==A Billionaire who can’t spend 30k, great==

    Thirty grand to a billion dollars is the same ratio as three dollars to a hundred thousand dollars (which might be a reasonable net worth of many Illinoisans, I would think). Yep, your comment puts it in perspective, all right. That’s how they get to be billionaires in the first place, I guess.


  19. - Anonymous - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 4:58 pm:

    The decision to issue this in October is interesting


  20. - Anonymous - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:00 pm:

    It won’t change the election outcome. Penny wise pound foolish.


  21. - Wylie Coyote - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:01 pm:

    Who wants to be that Sam McCann is starting to call himself governor-to-be?


  22. - Hamlet's Ghost - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:01 pm:

    Team JB might be incompetent for letting this happen in this way however how many persuadable voters will learn of this, or care?

    Political ads calling the other guy a crook are almost white noise at this point.


  23. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:01 pm:

    -The decision to issue this in October is interesting–

    Because Cook County offices that report to Toni Preckwinkle are just loaded with people out to get JB?


  24. - Not It - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:02 pm:

    Rich people problems….


  25. - Dupage Bard - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:05 pm:

    How does this get framed any different from the toilet caper deal from the last year and a half?
    The air is getting very thin for people, who aren’t tuned in daily, to watch this race.
    Chuy dropping out will be the headline of the day on the networks.
    Can the Rauner crew actually put together a 30 day strategy that utilizes toilets as a winning campaign message and bring him down?
    You can say fraud all you want but you’ve used corruption so often it’s been watered down.
    So here is your test Bruce do you have the gumption to drop yourself $20 million to try and salvage this race? Are you willing to go “all in” on this and clear the table and stand while the cards are pulled from the deck or are you just hoping for a miracle?


  26. - NIU Grad - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:07 pm:

    Get ready for the Pritzker campaign response using the words “Rauner”, “Distract”, and “Failure”.


  27. - JB13 - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:07 pm:

    Pritzker still wins by 10 points.


  28. - Fax Machine - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:10 pm:

    Expect Rauner to start running Scheme to Defraud ads on the 9 o clock news tonight


  29. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:11 pm:

    ===It won’t change the election outcome.===

    It may not.

    Rauner is terribly unliked. It’s not like Rauner becomes more likable now…

    Why take a chance. Pay the fines and such before you announce, admit being foolish… or be grossly incompetent to your own oppo… to be called into a “scheme to defraud”… aided by a brother in law and “assistant”…

    Will it matter?

    I had to endure horrible baseball being played today, now incompetence in campaign oppo… on themselves too?


  30. - Not It - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:12 pm:

    The part that is maddening is that his corrupt attitude towards his property taxes led to an increase in taxes for everyone else.

    Millionaire and billionaires should pay their fair share, huh?


  31. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:13 pm:

    This makes no difference to me as a voter.


  32. - OneMan - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:15 pm:

    The federal mail fraud statute as well as the state perjury statute are cited in the report. No recommendation is made to refer the case for charges, and the report notes that happens very rarely from that office. However, the first recommendation is to use whatever means to obtain the money that the county was defrauded of from the taxpayer.

    Assuming he wins I am willing to speculate that someone will reach out to the US Attorney’s office.

    This is the first sentence on the website for the US Attorney’s Office Northern District of Illinois. (Was trying to figure out who the US Attorney is)

    Trials of corrupt former governors of Illinois, Chicago officials who rigged city hiring, individuals who supported foreign terrorism, international drug smugglers, bosses of Chicago’s violent drug-trafficking street gangs, corporate executives who cheated public shareholders, and organized crime bosses who were responsible for notorious murders ― these are among the recent, successful prosecutions that distinguish the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.

    Not even speculating if it rises to that sort of thing, but someone is going to ask. Governors top their greatest hits list.

    Added irony bonus from the biography of the US Attorney from the website (bolding mine)

    Mr. Lausch earned his law degree in 1996 from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies (Government Concentration) in 1992 from Harvard University, where he served as captain of the football team.


  33. - revvedup - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:15 pm:

    Hmmm…bet McCann runs with this like a deer, and maybe Jackson, who hasn’t enough money to tear out his toilets. Serious issues for JB; lawyer up and make that check payable to the Cook County Treasurer’s Office mucho pronto.


  34. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:18 pm:

    When you spend $146+ million to be governor… but your brother in law and “assistant” get ya locked into a “scheme to defraud”… for $332K…

    Gross, gross incompetence to your own oppo. Almost malpractice… given the $146+ million versus $332K….

    That oppo research on yourselves… what *exactly* did ya find if ya missed this?


  35. - peteypablo - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:18 pm:

    “Under a footnote, it also notes a potential federal violation — Federal Mail Fraud Statute — devising or intending to devise a scheme to defraud.” - Sun-Times

    What’s everyone thoughts on this?


  36. - Catch 22 - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:19 pm:

    JB can’t just write the check now… that essentially is an admission of guilt. After being investigated and writing a check back doesn’t cure the underlying crime, the feds can still come in. And make no mistake, this HAS been referred to the feds.

    Heck, the only way it leaked was probably Berrios (who has reason to knife JB) leaked it. You can bet he gave it to the feds.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:20 pm:

    ===And make no mistake, this HAS been referred to the feds.===

    And…

    ===You can bet he gave it to the feds.===

    Lots of speculation.

    I dunno what’s next, if anything.

    I do know what is here now.


  38. - Ron Burgundy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:22 pm:

    OW, don’t forget JB’s wife not helping by allegedly wanting one toilet back in so JB could entertain in his “frunch room.”


  39. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:24 pm:

    Not great Jay Bob.

    The other angle is that it was with Joe Berrios’ Accessor’s Office which was always corrupt. Not good.


  40. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:24 pm:

    Apologize, cooperate, pony up the dough, then remind everyone of Rauner’s own property tax mismanagement.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:24 pm:

    ===…JB’s wife not helping by allegedly wanting one toilet back in so JB could entertain in his “frunch room.”===

    Not great in trying to walk it back… yikes.

    Not ONE person thought…

    “Why don’t we spend the $350K to stop this, right here, right now”

    Not ONE person?


  42. - Duopoly - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:26 pm:

    At least no commenter has made comments about JB being in deep s__t. :-)


  43. - Dupage Bard - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:31 pm:

    Again how does this play out 36 days to election time?

    JB will have to deal with this and pay a fine, above and beyond what he probably owed.

    End of the day it’s bad to the folks who pay attention but it’s too nuanced to be another hit piece on toilets. People already know this and it still hasn’t made Rauner’s numbers go up.


  44. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:37 pm:

    I am gonna bet when the dust settles, this will all turn out to be much ado about nothing.

    Remember former Inspector General Faisal Khan and his brutal reports? Where is Khan now?

    The problem with the OIG model, like the Ken Starr model, is that once IG’s get it into their heads that something “seems fishy”, they never stop digging until they find even the faintest shred to justify their existence and their expense of taxpayer dollars. Plus, in a media market like Chicago, it’s just too tempting to see your name in headlines.

    Hats off to Tina, but it ought to give the rest of us pause as to the IG’s motives that one publication was given a scoop, and it was given to a political reporter. That is not how the US Attorney’s office operated under Fitzgerald.


  45. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:45 pm:

    We’re the kitchen and bathroom functioning in 2012? The toilet is relevant to that issue.

    Sure, it’s easy to bootstrap a fraud charge, but pay your taxes like everyone else.


  46. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:47 pm:

    ===That is not how the US Attorney’s office operated under Fitzgerald.===

    Yep.

    Along with tapes with Pritzker talking to Blago, but….

    Here we are.

    It may not have a single bit of political cache, but something called “scheme to defraud” isn’t an “up day” for anyone.


  47. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:49 pm:

    Quincy veteran home and Sterigenics commercials will start running a week or two early, I think.


  48. - Rich Miller - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:52 pm:

    Lester is probably right. lol

    Gonna be a brutal, brutal, brutal close-out.


  49. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:55 pm:

    ===Quincy veteran home and Sterigenics commercials will start running a week or two early, I think.===

    Yep, no quarter. Take to Rauner and his failures.

    Oh joy.


  50. - Anonymous - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:55 pm:

    ==End of the day it’s bad to the folks who pay attention but it’s too nuanced to be another hit piece on toilets.==

    “Scheme to defraud taxpayers” in an ad isn’t nuance

    Trying to parse, explain, and argue it “isn’t as bad as it sounds” is nuance


  51. - Sue - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:55 pm:

    This seems to be blatant federal mail fraud and could be and should be investigated by the US Attorney. Scheme to defraud with use of the mail is pretty standard language when you look at the U.S. criminal code in Title 18. If a Rauners people are not asleep they have forwarded this finding to the AG’s office


  52. - Amalia - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 5:56 pm:

    Blanchard is a former Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney, a straight shooter, good at what he does.


  53. - Dupage Bard - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 6:14 pm:

    I forgot about the Veteran’s home commercials.
    Those can do some serious damage if done correctly.
    Let’s see what people think is worse - a cover up and tax dodge or a cover up and deceased veterans?
    I’m guessing we’ll know soon enough.


  54. - Anonymous - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 6:20 pm:

    If it wasn’t for that dog and you meddling kids. . .”


  55. - Sue - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 6:34 pm:

    Released by who- everyone involved is a Democrat


  56. - Lt Guv - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 6:49 pm:

    Sorry. 6:20pm was me.


  57. - Sue - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 6:53 pm:

    Yellow Dog- you must not have had many dealings with the folks at the Dirksen Building. The US Attorneys routinely tag team with a few trusted reporters to leak stories intended to assist with investigations


  58. - RNUG - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 7:01 pm:

    == Who wants to be that Sam McCann is starting to call himself governor-to-be? ==

    Too bad Sam doesn’t have enough money to make this a 3 horse race.


  59. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 7:01 pm:

    To Update x2…

    That’s the “best” answer?

    The report says Pritzker was involved in a “scheme to defraud”…

    Pritzker?

    Doesn’t deny the report, “surprised” it was leaked, and calls it “politics”?

    Gross incompetence.

    If you’re JB and you’re not asking serious questions like “how did I get here” and “no one has anything better after missing this?”…

    What do they do over there all day for $207K… every 24 hours… just burning money it seems.


  60. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 7:03 pm:

    ===The US Attorneys routinely tag team with a few trusted reporters to leak stories intended to assist with investigations===

    Asking… who did Fitzgerald work with?

    Should be easy enough to point out. I’m telling you I missed it.


  61. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 7:07 pm:

    Do the artistic costumers still strut their stuff on Rush Street on Halloween? If so, expect to see more than one American Standard with a “JB head” in the bowl dancing near Division this year.


  62. - Responsa - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 7:10 pm:

    During the campaign there have been very few sightings of Mrs. Pritzker, nor has she appeared in ads to introduce the putative future first lady of Illinois– and I have wondered why. This may be why. Bad bad bad.


  63. - Streator Curmudgeon - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 7:24 pm:

    Are we shocked? Typical rich folks behavior.

    There’s laws for dem, and laws for us.


  64. - The Dude - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 7:32 pm:

    JB will still win by over 10…I would say 15 but Rauner did save that deer.
    On another note, lot’s of McCann signs in small downstate towns.


  65. - Whatever - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 7:33 pm:

    Having fraud charges brought against Pritzger would be very bad, and it should have been easily avoided. The general rule is that merely cheating on your taxes is not fraud, so if he had simply paid up and apologized, it is highly unlikely that anyone would try to build a fraud case against him. Now, however, the word has been used publicly and charges may be brought.

    But I still ain’t voting for Bruce.


  66. - Anon - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 7:37 pm:

    And Blago is in prison,having never collected a penny for himself. (Except for the birthday check of $1,500 to his daughter)


  67. - Sue - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 7:37 pm:

    Doesn’t it bother anyone that the Guy who wants to impose his so called fair tax on us essentially stole several hundred thousand dollars from Cook County tax payers which had to be made up by the rest of you underprivileged property taxpayers. Every dollar saved by Pritzker was contributed by those not so fortunate to hire schemers


  68. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 7:37 pm:

    ===But I still ain’t voting for Bruce.===

    24% approval will do that.

    Having Pritzker spend $146+ Million plus helps too.

    If Pritzker does win, it’s like I said with baseball… the box score… and end result…

    You can run a mediocre campaign and win, you can run a perfect campaign and lose…

    … you can run against someone with 24% approval…


  69. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 7:38 pm:

    What I understand the least in all of this is… when he planned to run for governor and knew he was going to spend 200 large, why in the world wouldn’t he and his attorneys get this figured out before he announced? Gross incompetence indeed.


  70. - Stones - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 7:38 pm:

    The lesson of Watergate that few candidates every learn - the coverup is worse than the crime.


  71. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 7:41 pm:

    ===…essentially stole several hundred thousand dollars from…===

    No.

    I dunno if you understand “scheme to defraud” or how it all works.

    ===…which had to be made up by…===

    Explain this, completely. This sounds fun and interesting.

    ===Every dollar saved by Pritzker was contributed by…==

    Hmm. Explain this too.


  72. - So of 64 - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 7:42 pm:

    This will be a big deal to the average Joe trying to make a living, thinking his property taxes are too high, etc. Not a big deal to those following every PR or Blog, but old average Joe won’t like this.


  73. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 7:44 pm:

    ===…going to spend 200 large…===

    … a day… every single day… every 24 hours.

    It’s a head scratcher.


  74. - Sue - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 7:48 pm:

    Oswego- you clearly are not familiar with how property tax works. If Cook county needed to collect let’s say 100 million- when Pritzker gets his 300k reduction- the Country still needs to raise its 100million- this any Pritzker deficit is made us by other taxpayers. That’s what I meant by his “stealing” from other Cook County taxpayers


  75. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 8:05 pm:

    The more I think about it, the more I think JB could make due with this. Abiding by the report’s recommendations, paying up, apologizing, and contrasting his behavior when he messes up to that of the incumbent, “I did something that I thought was okay. It wasn’t and I am sorry. I am making good on the property tax bill. I am taking full responsibility for my actions. Now look at my opponent who said his administration did a great job handling the Quincy Veterans Home crisis after 13 heroes died. He didn’t do great job. And he never took responsibility for his own actions. His administration waited two weeks to let anyone know about the crisis and then tried to blame a war hero for the outbreak.” It could work for him because my assumption is people will be more mad at 13 preventable deaths than a few hundred thousand dollars.


  76. - VanillaMan - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 8:19 pm:

    Wait a minute - since when do our governors get incarecerated before they get elected?


  77. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 8:19 pm:

    ===you clearly are not familiar with how property tax works.===

    Neither did Berrios, if you believe the papers…


  78. - VanillaMan - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 8:22 pm:

    Illinois’ own ‘lil-liberal Donald Trump…


  79. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 8:23 pm:

    ===If Cook county needed to collect let’s say 100 million- when Pritzker gets his 300k reduction- the Country still needs to raise its 100million- this any Pritzker deficit is made us by other taxpayers. That’s what I meant by his “stealing” from other Cook County taxpayers===

    “Scheme to Defraud”

    It’s Pritzker paying less.

    I know you want it to be about others… it’s really about the property.

    Otherwise, you’d be just as angry at Rauner’s multiple exemptions… and Rauner claiming a homeowner exemption. (His residence) in Winnetka, while claiming his denied daughter was living in Chicago, allowing her to go to Payton Prep…

    Thoughts?


  80. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 8:29 pm:

    I agree, this is very bad and inexcusable to not know your own oppo. But Bruce Rauner defrauded thousands of state employees by illegally not paying them their earned step increases, maybe in the millions of dollars.

    It’s October 1. Where’s the money?


  81. - Yiddishcowboy - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 8:37 pm:

    J.B.: Pay the bloody money already…like tomorrow. Do the right thing. Yes, Rauner will come after you regardless–after all, that’s all this miserable, failure of a governor has. But at least you can say you did the proper thing given the report’s findings.


  82. - SSL - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 8:40 pm:

    Good thing he’s a rich democrat, or else he could find himself in real trouble. Between defrauding the county and colluding with Blago, this guy is a real gem.

    How special is it that this news broke while he was hanging with his best buddy Hilary. Two of the best examples of the liberal elite. Rule breakers and cheaters who think they’re better than everyone else. Good luck Illinois.


  83. - VanillaMan - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 8:41 pm:

    ==I agree, this is very bad and inexcusable to not know your own oppo. But Bruce Rauner ==

    Stop.
    “Yeah - but”, doesn’t work.

    I know Rauner’s no good. Knowing this doesn’t get Pugsley Pritzker off the hook. Dude’s a trillionaire without a pot to pee in - by choice.

    Classless, and tacky.


  84. - Amalia - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 8:53 pm:

    arrogance. it will get you.


  85. - Jibba - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 9:07 pm:

    Yup, this is bad. Not bad enough to vote Rauner or skip voting, but bad. I didn’t mind when this was being explained as legal but distasteful. but if it is not legal, he needs to pay tomorrow with interest and apologize.

    Might have voted differently in the primary, but Biss would likely be behind right now.


  86. - wordslinger - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 9:40 pm:

    –During the campaign there have been very few sightings of Mrs. Pritzker, nor has she appeared in ads to introduce the putative future first lady of Illinois– and I have wondered why. This may be why. Bad bad bad.–

    Is that the dish under the hair dryers at the beauty salon and at the sewing circle? All about that putativeness?

    Let us know what June Cleaver thinks, Steve Douglass.


  87. - Anon - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 9:40 pm:

    Ironic that JB was spending the evening with a woman whose state department server was kept in a bathroom closet in Denver.


  88. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 9:52 pm:

    === “Yeah - but”, doesn’t work. ===

    Actually, yeah-but is the foundation for all politics.


  89. - DarkHorse - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 10:19 pm:

    If you’re Pritzker, and you’ll be humiliated if you lose after spending $146 million, do you just go for it, and contribute another $54 million - $200 million being a nice round number?

    As for “unintended consequences”, this “scheme to defraud” gives Harold her best argument - “stuff like this, that’s why you need me in there.”


  90. - The Dude Abides - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 10:27 pm:

    This is a big mistake by JB. Why didn’t he just pay the taxes, that’s a small amount of money for him. He needs to release a statement on this that makes some sense.
    On the other hand, are we supposed to consider voting for Rauner now, a guy who is probably the worst Governor Illinois has ever had? A majority of voters feel that Rauner has to go for Illinois to get back on sound financial footing. This event doesn’t change how people feel about Rauner and this won’t flip the election to him.


  91. - Anonymous - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 10:35 pm:

    Democrats have abused the Cook County property tax system for decades.

    Madigan
    Ed Burke
    Joe Berrios

    The list goes on and on. It’s no surprise that JB took advantage of this scheme and defrauded taxpayers. The sad thing at the Trib story pointed out is that the system truly hurt black and brown communities.


  92. - Not changing my vote - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 10:37 pm:

    I will still take an alleged toilet mover over the Legionnaires guy that let veterans die and has an environmental bio hazard up north..,


  93. - Dupage Bard - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 11:08 pm:

    So any chance JB takes offense that Bruce Rauner did an oppo dump about JB’s wife?
    I’ve known people who get even for a lot less.
    Maybe stand up for your wife before you worry about spin?


  94. - GC - Monday, Oct 1, 18 @ 11:44 pm:

    Veteran’s home was incompetence. Tax fraud is malice. Always thought the toilets play was smelly (no pun intended), but now crosses into clear perjury. “Corrupt” isn’t a buzz word anymore. JB just lost any hope of my vote.


  95. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 7:19 am:

    What kind of “leader” talks about paying taxes as “fair”, but goes out of his way to do such a thing? He’s one of the world’s richest people, yet stoops to this tacky tax fraud scheme?

    The evidense at hand exposes JB as another guy who wants to play governor, but deep down, isn’t a man of fairness or truth.

    Thanks Democrats for nominating the worst of the trio to offer Illinois after a full term of destruction by the current wanna-be governor.

    Sam McCann, save us.


  96. - Armitage Shanks - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 7:31 am:

    For all the “just pay the money” comments, it just shouldn’t work that way. The fraud statute requires intent and that is what is concerning. The intent to defraud the public attaches itself to the character of the individuals involved. Plenty of folks have served time for far, far less.


  97. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 7:38 am:

    ===Sam McCann, save us.===

    Thanks for that choking on coffee laughing coughing fit.


  98. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 7:43 am:

    @Armitage Shanks

    That is exactly why JB needs to show much remorse, to try to prove he is not of questionable character, that he made a big mistake and he will make it right, show that the buck stops with him and take the responsibility for his actions like real leaders used to do. I mean, he should have done that months ago and lord only knows why he didn’t. But better late than never.


  99. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 7:55 am:

    ===For all the “just pay the money” comments, it just shouldn’t work that way. The fraud statute requires intent and that is what is concerning. The intent to defraud the public attaches itself to the character of the individuals involved. Plenty of folks have served time for far, far less.===

    Ok… then I’m sure what happened at the Veterans Home, that negligence, you will also want to pursue legal responsibility and you are against capping the monies that families can sue for…


  100. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 8:04 am:

    This election is going down the toilet.


  101. - Baskerville Puppy - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 8:16 am:

    Let’s see if the US Attorney does get involved. The cynic in me questions it.


  102. - Armitage Shanks - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 8:22 am:

    The OiIG report clearly points out the intent to defraud and should not be taken lightly. Mr Pritzker’s brother-in-law and Mrs Pritzker’s personal assistant attested to false facts in order to reduce the assessment on the property. Mr Pritzker’s personal assistant notarized the affidavits.

    Politics aside, this isn’t right and there needs to be more accountability than just say you’re sorry and pay the money.


  103. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 8:24 am:

    @ducky, I didn’t see any remorse from Pritzker’s press conference following his Hillary event.

    All headlines I’ve seen since then are screaming “scheme to defraud.”

    What gets me is this is a confidential report to Berrios with copies to Fox, Preckwinkle and two Preckwinkle top assistants. All Democrats. Which begs the question, which Democrat leaked this report to the ultra-liberal pro-union Chicago Sun-Times?

    Scheme to Defraud. Wow.


  104. - A Jack - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 8:24 am:

    This does seem like a “Chicken Little” moment. We shall see if anything comes out of this. I suspect most voters are paying more attention to the Kavenaugh developments and the Chicago mayors race.


  105. - Downstate - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 8:25 am:

    Did you criticize gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady for not having any tax liability due to his business downturn?

    Remember, Brady took legal tax deductions.

    If Brady’s tax deductions made him unfit to be governor, then JB’s “scheme to defraud” would most certainly render him equally unfit…..if not more so!!!


  106. - A Jack - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 8:36 am:

    I am not sure anyone can speculate on Pritzker’s brother in law’s “intent” at this point. Was there something that he knows that the inspector general wasn’t knowledgeable about? Did he get bad advice from the tax authorities? All of this would be found out with sworn testimony if it comes to that point.


  107. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 8:40 am:

    –So any chance JB takes offense that Bruce Rauner did an oppo dump about JB’s wife?–

    Evidence please? The document leaked between the office of a Democratic appointee and the office of a Democratic elected official, in Cook County. Not a lot of Raunerites there.


  108. - Jibba - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 8:42 am:

    This is bad enough that Rauner would probably get elected if he had not been governor for the last 4 years.


  109. - lakeside - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 8:47 am:

    I know I’m echoing others here, but, if you’ve got the money he’s got, how do you not just call up the County and get this settled before the primary? If you don’t have the cash, you’re going to have to take the hits but if you can avoid the hit with what is, to you, a pittance - what is the deal?


  110. - 44th - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 8:48 am:

    that “project manager” will get thrown under the bus and everyone move on. Smarty pants sister will get lectured for next few years at every family gathering. But bro won’t be too mad, sounds like she turned it into a private club for JB and da boys. Cigars and troughs of BBQ for everyone….


  111. - City Zen - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 8:50 am:

    ==But Bruce Rauner defrauded thousands of state employees by illegally not paying them their earned step increases==

    Your class in Whataboutism is too late in the day for me. Is there a early afternoon offering?


  112. - low level - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 8:51 am:

    YDD is exactly correct. IG’s characterize EVERYTHING as the WORSE thing ever. Its the way they make headlines for themselves.

    Remember chicago IG David Hoffman? Sure enough, when he was done crusading he ran for Senate in the Dem primary in 2010.


  113. - Ga. Dawg - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 8:53 am:

    Is it at all possible to elect a write-in candidate as Governor?


  114. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 8:55 am:

    ===Is it at all possible to elect a write-in candidate as Governor?===

    Please, see - Norseman -

    Also, it’s two Ls and a Y at the end “Oswego Willy”


  115. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 8:58 am:

    =Plenty of folks have served time for far, far less.=

    Like who? Just curious since you say you know about “plenty of folks” you should be able to name some with the deets of course.


  116. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 9:06 am:

    How many veterans died due to this? How many abuse/rape victims went without services? How many college/university employees were laid off? How many students left Illinois? Yes, I’m disappointed in Pritzker, but I’m outraged at Rauner.


  117. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 9:07 am:

    At this point there is not a thing on earth that could move me to not vote for Pritzker.


  118. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 10:18 am:

    When asked if he would return any of the $330,000 he received in property tax breaks and refunds, Pritzker said he would “abide by the law” and “follow the recommendations.”

    The correct answer is “Yes”

    – MrJM


  119. - OneMan - Tuesday, Oct 2, 18 @ 10:25 am:

    At this point there is not a thing on earth that could move me to not vote for Pritzker.

    And that is rather sad…


  120. - LizPhairTax - Wednesday, Oct 3, 18 @ 9:47 am:

    Terrence Gore is Eddie Gaedel with speed. No business swinging at anything ever.

    Bearce.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for Juneteenth
* Cash bail did not necessarily make us any safer (Updated)
* Isabel’s afternoon roundup (Updated)
* GOP poll has Sorensen up by 9 points, but below 50 percent
* Showcasing The Retailers Who Make Illinois Work
* It’s just a bill
* Revenue omnibus includes some little-noticed charitable provisions
* Pritzker teams up with IBM, Discover Financial to push for federal quantum funds
* They’ll come back to it
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
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