Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios has publicly said the county’s watchdog has no authority to investigate him, but a Wednesday court ruling says the inspector general has every right to scrutinize operations at the tax office.
In the ruling, a Cook County circuit court judge upheld the ability of the office of the inspector general to investigate corruption and fraud in not just Berrios’ office, but all other independently elected offices, according Alexander Polikoff, who represented Inspector General Pat Blanchard in court.
“There’s been uncertainty over whether the IG has the authority to investigate,” Polikoff said. “The court finds the legal arguments made by the assessor that the county doesn’t have the power to require the assessor to cooperate are not persuasive.”
Along with being Cook County Assessor, Berrios is also head of the Cook County Democratic Party.
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