► Today’s Public Official Misfit is Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios Print E-mail
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Today’s Public Official Misfit is Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios

Joe has had his significant snout firmly implanted in the public trough since 1988. As we speak (ca. July 2012), Joe is the elected Cook County Assessor. He was elected to the position in 2010.
The Cook County Board of Ethics recently filed a report ruling that Joey violated his fiduciary duties as well as the prohibition on hiring relatives.
Joe and Nepotism “101”
Joe treats the prohibition against hiring family members with total contempt. Immediately after he was elected as County Assessor, Joe hired the following family members.
Hired his son and namesake Joseph “Joey” Berrios as a $48.000-a-year residential analyst
Hired his sister Carmen Berrios as director of taxpayer services at $86,000 a year
Since hiring his son in 2010, Joe promoted as the chief of the land division, which pays him $69,285 a year. Joe also promoted his sister Carmen as deputy assessor of taxpayer services at an annual salary of $107,841.
Joe’s daughter Vanessa was working at the Assessor’s office when he was elected in 2010. However, he promoted her and gave her a $10,000 raise and later another $1,000 raise, resulting in an annual salary of $69,285.48.
As a consequence of his nepotism, the Board of Ethics fined Joe $10,000, $5,000 for hiring son and $5,000 for hiring his daughter.
Arrogant Joe responded to the ethics charges and ongoing investigation by saying, “To me it’s not a big deal, because I’ve been told by the state’s attorney they have no power over us.” Isn’t that special?
Joe’s Campaign Contributions
Over the years, Joe has regularly accepted hundreds of thousands a year in campaign cash from lawyers who specialize in property tax appeals. Joe maintains five (5) personal political funds, not including the one for the Democratic Party of Cook County, which he also controls. Joe collected more than $3 million in contributions between 2000 and 2010, of which 64% came from property tax appeal lawyers.
As we speak (ca. July 2012) Joe continues to sit as the Cook County Assessor while an investigation into his corruption continues. If things turn out badly for Joe he can always run to be Governor of Illinois. Illinois is always looking for another corrupt official as there next governor!

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