COOK COUNTY - In Part 3 of Illinois Review's 4-part interview with Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Dan Patlak, he answers questions about the appeal process, legal firms that are politically-connected and how the BOR's system of checks and balances works. He also talks about Palos Park businessman Sean Morrison's GOP primary challenge and answers questions about an intra-county party struggle.
In Part 2, we left off talking about a situation where assessment applicants complained that an attorney was being assigned to their cases unbeknownst to them until after they received their assessment appeals back from the BOR. Most attorneys expect a 33 percent commission from any amount the appeal is lowered. Residential property appeals do not require an attorney, but commerical properties do require an attorney to represent any appeals before the BOR.
Commissioner Patlak picked up on this conversation, saying attorneys should never been assigned to a case without the client/appealer's knowledge and agreement beforehand:
2011_Patlak_Intw_3a (Click on the image for audio)
IR: It is a well-known fact that key Illinois Democrats head up law firms that practice before the Board of Review. It's difficult to believe that seeing either House Speaker Mike Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton or Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke's husband Alderman Ed Burke's law firms affiliated with a property doesn't influence the decision-making process - even a little?
IR: How can you assure us that things at the BOR of being handled appropriately, with checks and balances?
IR: So it's not a problem that the Illinois Democratic Party head's law firm appeals before the Board of Review?
IR: Why are you running again, since you first ran in 2010? Are you on a 2-4-4 year rotation?
IR: How much money did you spend in your 2010 primary and general campaigns for Board of Review Commissioner?
IR: Why would a fellow Republican contest you so soon after you were elected to bring political party diversity to the BOR?
IR: and continues ...
IR: We're hearing this primary is a party power struggle between the northern and southern suburbs?
IR: Being the highest elected Republican in Cook County also places you in leadership within the county party structure. How are you helping fellow Republicans?
Part 4 of this interview will complete our conversation with Commissioner Patlak.
from Illinois Review archives