County Board Approves Ethics Reforms
By Kevin Robinson in News on Sep 16, 2010 4:30PM
A host of ethics reforms approved earlier this week by the Finance Committee of the Cook County Board of Commissioners passed the full board Wednesday. Key among those reforms is a ban on doing political work, including lobbying, while on the county clock or using county resources, such as telephones or office space. The board also voted to require candidates for assessor or the Board of Review to return campaign contributions in excess of $1,500 from from lawyers and individuals that appear before the board seeking lower property tax assessments.
The requirement to return contributions is a point of contention for Democrat Joe Berrios, who is running for Cook County Assessor. Berrios sits on the county board of review, and has faced criticism for taking campaign contributions from tax attorneys. He's being challenged in the general election by county commissioner Forrest Claypool. Berrios charged that Claypool is using the reform measures as a “campaign press conference.”