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Opponent Attacks Berrios In Mock Newspaper Valentine

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Joseph Berrios

Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — There wasn’t a whole lot of love to be found in a newspaper Valentine addressed Tuesday to Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, the valentine on page 44 of the Sun-Times classifieds section purported to be from Berrios family members.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports


Its text read thusly:

“Happy V-day
“Uncle Joe,
“Thank you for the jobs and promotions.
“We couldn’t have gotten them without you.
“With love, the Berrios family.”

The Sun-Times reports Alonso Zaragoza, who is challenging Berrios in the race for 31st Ward Democratic committeeman in the March primary, is taking credit for the ad.

Berrios has come under fire for placing relatives on the payroll. <Shortly after taking office in December 2010, he placed his son, Joseph “Joey” Berrios, and his sister, Carmen Berrios Cruz, to work for him in the Assessor’s office.

Both Joey and Carmen Berrios had worked for the assessor in his previous position as a commissioner on the Cook County Board of Review.

Berrios later promoted his daughter, Vanessa Berrios, who had been hired by the Assessor’s office more than 10 years before her father won the seat, the Sun-Times reported.

Currently, Vanessa and Joey Berrios each make about $68,000 annually, and Carmen Berrios makes nearly $108,000.

Speaking to the Sun-Times this week, Berrios called Zaragoza a “coward” for placing the ad and said it was “not fair” that the ad was presented as if some of his relatives had written it.

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