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Report: Ethics Board Fines Assessor Berrios, Tells Him To Fire Son And Sister

Joseph Berrios

Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios (Credit: CBS)

conway250 Bob Conway
Bob Conway joined WBBM Newsradio 780 in August of 2000 as a part time...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County Assessor Joeseph Berrios is rejecting accusations about alleged nepotism in his office.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports, shortly after being elected two years ago, Berrios hired his son and his sister as Assessor’s office employees. Since then, they have both been promoted and had their salaries increased.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports


Now, the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Cook County Ethics Board is recommending Berrios’ son and sister be fired, and accuses Berrios of violating his duties and the ethics ordinance.

The board also fined Berrios $10,000.

For his part, Berrios tells the Sun-Times he has been told by the Cook County State’s Attorney that the board does not have jurisdiction over his office, and says his relatives have and are doing a fine job and that he holds them to a higher standard than other employees.

Shortly after taking office in December 2010, Berrios 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.

Joey Berrios now makes $69,285 a year as head of the land division. Carmen Berrios makes $107,841 as a deputy assessor of taxpayer services, the Sun-Times reports.

Vanessa Berrios is also making about $69,285 a year, the newspaper reports.