Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
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 has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.
   
     
     
     



Editorial: Turn 'em over, Mr. Berrios

Friday, June 29, 2018
Chicago Tribune
by Editorial Board

Editorial: 

Turn 'em over, Mr. Berrios

Editorials reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board, as determined by the members of the board, the editorial page editor and the publisher.

Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios is the latest in a long line of Illinois officials to learn they can’t keep the public’s business secret. Like the others, Berrios has wasted taxpayer money fighting to keep information from the people who pay his salary and keep the lights on in his office.

On Friday, a three-judge Illinois appellate panel affirmed what a lower court judge told Berrios in December of 2016: No, you can’t deny the Tribune’s request for more information about how your office assesses residential and commercial properties. Turn over these documents.

ADVERTISING

A quick recap: In June 2017 the Tribune, later joined by ProPublica Illinois, began exposing how Berrios' system results in punishing property tax bills for disadvantaged communities while affluent property owners hire attorneys to win assessment reductions. And downtown buildings have been systematically undervalued at the expense of small businesses in poor neighborhoods.

Appellate court orders Berrios to release assessment information to Tribune »

The Tribune requested more information about how Berrios’ assessment process works, citing the state’s Freedom of Information Act. Berrios refused, saying the information was part of a “deliberative process” and therefore not subject to state open records laws. In the 2016 ruling, Cook County Circuit Judge Neil H. Cohen scoffed at Berrios’ argument and ruled for the Tribune.

Berrios foolishly appealed. Which brings us to Friday’s slapdown. “The public has a strong right to know about how they are being taxed by their government as opposed to the government’s fairly meek interest in secrecy. The balance in this case weighs in favor of the public, and in favor of disclosure,” Appellate Justice John C. Griffin wrote. “The information requested by the Tribune in this case is critical in order for the public to understand how they are being taxed.”

Read the Tribune's Tax Divide series »

Got that, Mr. Berrios, and all you officials who hide public documents from the public? The public has a strong right to know. When will every public official learn that lesson? How much more taxpayer money will officials waste as they futilely try to keep citizens in the dark?

Enough, Mr. Berrios. Turn over the documents.



Recent Headlines

Northbrook will revisit Cook County minimum wage ordinance in May
Sunday, November 18, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Suffredin: County to seek 'safeguards' for golf course road
Friday, November 16, 2018
Evanston NOW

She's been waiting 15 months for her rape kit to be processed. A new proposal to track evidence aims to change that.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Preckwinkle to unveil policy roadmap for Cook County for next five years
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

U.S. appeals judges: Go fight over lawsuits with Dorothy Brown in state court
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

COMMENTARY: Here's how the Shakman case curbed Cook County patronage
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Appeals court backs Dorothy Brown in lawsuit over public access to electronic records, says judge overstepped authority
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

What’s Next As Voters Overwhelmingly Support Higher Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Time
Monday, November 12, 2018
Journal and Topics Online

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's security chief fired after review spurred by watchdog report
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

An earlier opening day: 2019 Cook County forest preserves permits go on sale Nov. 15
Thursday, November 08, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County opening 2019 picnic permit sales Nov. 15
Monday, November 05, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

The Cook County Land Bank looks to go commercial
Monday, November 05, 2018
RE Journal

Nov. 15 is new opening date for Cook County forest preserves permits
Monday, November 05, 2018
Daily Herald

Cook County Gun Dealer, Minimum Wage Referendums On Ballot
Monday, November 05, 2018
Patch

The Abandoned WWI Monument One Chicago Man Is Determined To Save
Friday, November 02, 2018
Chicago Patch

Cook County freed from federal oversight
Thursday, November 01, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

First-of-its-kind trauma recovery center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018
ABC 7

Northbrook opts in to Cook County paid sick leave ordinance, more uncertainty for employers, lawyer says
Monday, October 29, 2018
Cook County Record

First-of-its-kind Advocate Trauma Recovery Center serves survivors of domestic violence, hate crimes, sexual assault, gun violence in Cook County
Monday, October 29, 2018
WLS Channel 7

Cook County sheriff, CVS team up on safe prescription painkiller disposal
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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