Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine


  Office phone numbers:  

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.


Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

  Cook County is the second most populous county in the nation. It is the 19th largest government in the U.S.

Berrios burns taxpayers' money

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Chicago Sun-Times
by Editorial

First, taxpayers are told to dig into their pockets to pay for Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios to pad his payroll with relatives. Next, taxpayers are told to dig even deeper — maybe a lot deeper before it’s all over — to pay both the legal fees to pursue an ethics complaint against Berrios for nepotism and to defend him against that same charge.

Wouldn’t it be a lot cheaper if Berrios would stop treating nepotism as the spoils that any election winner deserves? 

Berrios, who was elected assessor in 2010, has three relatives on the payroll: his sister Carmen Berrios, who makes more than $107,000 a year as deputy assessor for tax services and public outreach; his son Joseph E. “Joey” Berrios, who’s paid $72,444.32 a year as manager of an arm of the assessor’s office that examines homes as part of the valuation process; and his daughter Vanessa Berrios, who gets $73,904.48 a year as manager of industrial and commercial property valuations.

But when the Cook County Ethics Board told Berrios he had violated the county ethics ordinance by hiring relatives and recommended he fire them and pay $10,000 in fines, he ignored the board. He says the county’s ethics ordinance doesn’t apply to him or other independently elected officials. If he prevails in court, we’ll be left with no ethics oversight over those officials. There’s a nice gift for taxpayers.

Now, a judge has approved the ethics board’s request to hire David Hoffman, a former federal prosecutor and former City Hall inspector general, to prove the ethics ordinance applies to Berrios. Taxpayers also are paying for a special state’s attorney to represent Berrios.

Government generally pays the legal bills for officials who face suits arising out of the normal course of their jobs. That’s reasonable. When Gayle Franzen left his job as head of the Illinois Department of Corrections under former Gov. James R. Thompson, he had more than 700 lawsuits pending against him that took 10 years to clear up. A public officeholder can’t be expected to foot that kind of legal bill.

But taxpayers are really hurting in this county. Nepotism is a loser in the court of public opinion. Joe Berrios is burning your money.

Recent Headlines

Measles Exposure Reported in Chicago
Monday, May 20, 2019

System News
Friday, May 17, 2019
Special to

Cook County Health Recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Skokie plans for road improvements near Edens Expressway: 'It’s desperately needed'
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Skokie Review

5 Chicago hospitals earn D grades for patient safety in new report, Northwestern slips to a B
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin: Backward Glances
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Eliminated Its Gang Database, But Advocates Say Harm Continues
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

New Cook County Housing Authority Proposal Targets the 'Missing Middle'
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Census Citizenship Question Could Hurt Citizens, Noncitizens Alike
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

News from Friends of the Forest Preserves
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Special to

Cook County commissioners get earful about soon-to-be-destroyed gang database
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Detainee dies days after suicide attempt at Cook County jail
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Curious City How Chicago Women Created The World’s First Juvenile Justice System
Monday, May 13, 2019
WBEZ Chicago Public Radio

Cook County report: Sharp drop in jail population, but crime did not jump
Friday, May 10, 2019
Injustice Watch

Will Cook County be home to the next big measles outbreak? Researchers think so.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Chicago Tribune

May is Prime Time for Birding in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
Special to

More Babies Are Illegally Abandoned Than Turned Over Through Illinois’ Safe Haven Law In Cook County
Thursday, May 09, 2019
CBS Chicago

Empty businesses may lose county tax incentives
Wednesday, May 08, 2019
Homewood-Flossmoor Chronicle

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County passes bill to stop discrimination against tenant applicants
Tuesday, May 07, 2019
Chicago Crusader

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.