Federal prosecutors have sought records on property tax appeals made to former Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios on more than 100 properties, including a Chicago mansion owned by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, according to a newspaper report.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago has asked the assessor’s office for emails and other communications between 2012 and 2018 that were granted by Berrios, according to The Chicago Sun-Times, which cites the email requests. The other properties include the United Center and Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse.
Berrios, who lost his 2018 re-election bid to Fritz Kaegi and resigned as Cook County Democratic Party chairman, said he didn't know the specifics of what investigators were seeking.
“It’s news to me,” he told the newspaper.
Questions about the Pritzker tax break surfaced ahead of the 2018 gubernatorial election. Pritzker received a property tax break after having the toilets removed from the mansion next to his family residence and declaring it “uninhabitable.” Pritzker later repaid the county about $330,000.
“As I’ve always said, any review will show that all the rules were followed,” Pritzker said Friday. “But I’ve not been contacted by federal authorities, nor has my wife.”
Law firms involved in the appeals included those lead by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Chicago Alderman Edward Burke.