Cook County Workers Accused of Bribery

Bribery carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine

By Alexandria Fisher
|  Wednesday, Jul 18, 2012  |  Updated 2:40 PM CDT
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Two analysts for the Cook County Board of Review face federal bribery charges for allegedly accepting $1,500 to facilitate reducing property tax assessment by more than $14,000 on three residential properties, prosecutors said.

Thomas Hawkins, 48, and John Racasi, 51, were arrested Wednesday and each charged with one count of accepting a bribe.

Hawkins and Racasi were analysts to the Board of Review and gave recommendations to the commissioners on how they should vote in reviewing appeals.

The two allegedly accepted a $1,500 bribe in 2008 while on the staff of "Commissioner A" but were not immediately arrested due to an ongoing investigation, which recorded meetings and phone conversations discussing strategies for property tax reductions in exchange for bribes, prosecutors said.

Bribery carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
 

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