The two half-brothers found guilty - Thomas Hawkins, 49, and John Racasi, 52 - worked as analysts for the Board of Review when they were secretly recorded taking the bribes from a corrupt Chicago police officer who was working undercover with the FBI.
After a weeklong trial that ended Friday, the jury deliberated about 3½ hours before convicting the two on four counts of conspiracy, bribery and mail fraud.
The trial provided a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the Board of Review, the obscure but powerful public agency that is supposed to give fair appraisals to businesses and residents who want to appeal their property taxes but has long been criticized as rife with insider dealing and conflicts of interest, the Tribune writes.
The two found guilty mentioned then-Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Joseph Berrios on secretly wire-tapped conversations in which one mentioned Berrios in one conversation recorded on Sept. 11, 2008. Hawkins told an undercover cop he is "bringin' in Joe" on a deal so they could bypass the usual red tape. Hawkins also talked of sharing "lettuce" with Berrios -- a code word for bribe money, prosecutors said.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said last week she was troubled that Berrios - now Cook County Assessor and Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party - was mentioned in the trial, but stood by him. Questions remain as to whether the FBI probe will expand to include those names mentioned in the trial that concluded Monday.