Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  

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.

  The Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trade 60% of the world futures contracts.

Editorial: Turn 'em over, Mr. Berrios

Friday, June 29, 2018
Chicago Tribune
by Editorial Board


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.


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

Illinois Supreme Court sets civil, criminal fee schedule
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Seniors: Are your Cook County property taxes delinquent? Your home could be at risk
Thursday, February 14, 2019
WLS Abc 7 Chicago

Editorial: Look out, taxpayers: When governments have more pensioners than employees
Thursday, February 14, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Hundreds of accused criminals on electronic monitoring are missing
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
ABC Channel 7

Glenview adopts Cook County minimum wage and sick leave ordinances, effective July 1
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Lawsuit over property tax assessments survives challenge
Monday, February 11, 2019
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Thursday, February 07, 2019
Special to

Cook County Jail detainee dies at Stroger Hospital
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

The Cook County Sheriff’s Office Says Its Gang Database Is on Lockdown, but Questions Remain
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Pro Publica

Charges dismissed against man accused of threatening judge
Thursday, February 07, 2019
Daily Herald

Double Down: Twin Brothers Rehabbing Chicago
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Defender

Slowik: Residents, officials celebrate rehab work at public housing sites
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Daily Southtown

Class action: Evanston can't charge 'convenience fees' to people paying tickets online
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Cook County Rercord

390 arrested in nationwide prostitution sting, including 38 in Cook County
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

As we build a road, we will protect the forest preserves
Wednesday, February 06, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Campaign to weed out European buckthorn across the suburbs
Tuesday, February 05, 2019
Northwest Herald

Airbnb hosts in Cook County earned $109 million last year: report
Monday, February 04, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County senior exemption deadline extended
Monday, February 04, 2019
Daily Herald

Decadelong legal battle over Barrington Hills horse farm — eyed as huge forest preserve — may be nearing resolution
Monday, February 04, 2019
Chicago Tribune

EDITORIAL: Protect iconic forest preserve from concrete overkill
Sunday, February 03, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

all news items

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