State Rep. Steve Reick Calls for Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s Resignation

Here’s the latest from State Rep. Steve Reick:

“Silence of the Dems”, Lisa Madigan Edition

Posted on 

illinois-land-of-corruption-hatIn the past several months, the Chicago Tribune has extensively researched and written about the assessment practices of Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios, finding a pattern of:

“[C]lout, patronage and incompetence…that assigns property values and thus helps shape tax bills. Low-income and minority communities get hit harder than wealthier communities whose residents often hire attorneys to win assessment reductions.”

As ProPublica Illinois further stated:

“Amid the most tumultuous real estate market since the Great Depression, Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios produced valuations for thousands of commercial and industrial properties in Chicago that did not change from one reassessment to the next, not even by a single dollar.

That fact, one finding in an unprecedented ProPublica Illinois-Chicago Tribune analysis of tens of thousands of property records, points to a conclusion that experts say defies any logical explanation except one:

Berrios failed at one of his most important responsibilities — estimating the value of commercial and industrial properties.

What’s more, a separate analysis reveals commercial and industrial property assessments throughout Cook County were so riddled with errors that they created deep inequities, punishing small businesses while cutting a break to owners of high-value properties and helping fuel a cottage industry of politically powerful tax attorneys.”

We all know who they’re talking about. As the Tribune goes on to say:

“The clout-rich lawyers whose firms profit from Cook County’s property tax dysfunction — Speaker Madigan, Chicago Ald. Edward Burke and Senate President John Cullerton, to name a few — say almost nothing about Berrios. Worse, they’re rarely asked.”

There are those who have finally spoken up to call for change:

“U.S. Reps. Danny Davis, Bill Foster and Robin Kelly, along with Cook County Clerk David Orr, Cook County Board member Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and state Sen. Heather Steans, among others, have endorsed one of Berrios’ opponents.”

But have you noticed one name that’s noticeably absent?

Lisa Madigan.

The State’s Chief Law enforcement officer, someone who holds herself out as an advocate of Illinois taxpayers and consumers, has been totally silent on the Berrios “racket” (the Tribune’s word, not mine).

And if there’s one person in this State who has the authority, not to mention the responsibility, for investigating what’s going on in the Assessor’s office, it’s the Attorney General of the State of Illinois.

The most important role of the Attorney General is to investigate and prosecute corruption anywhere it’s found.

Here we have a case of “clout, patronage and incompetence” pointing to a pattern of corruption that screams for an investigation at the very least, perhaps leading to prosecution.

Why haven’t we heard from our State’s chief prosecutor?

Those of us living outside of Cook County have long ago given up hope that it will someday shed itself of its well-earned reputation for political log-rolling and corruption.

We understand that Attorney General Madigan’s father, Speaker Michael Madigan, controls the Illinois House, and the party which he leads, with a checkbook.

We also understand that those of us who live outside of Cook County are thought of as nothing more than a collection of hayseeds who are expected to do nothing more than keep quiet and continue to subsidize Cook County’s excesses.

But the fact is, this Cook County “friends and family” assessment racket not only benefits the high rollers, it hurts minorities, working families and those without political juice in Cook County as well as taxpayers throughout the entire State of Illinois.

The Illinois legislature just spent months creating an education funding formula that gives the Chicago Public Schools millions of dollars of other peoples’ money.

Since the burden for paying for education in Illinois falls so heavily on the property tax, this shell game has the effect of lining the pockets of the very people who are the beneficiaries of doing business “The Chicago Way,” because what those beneficiaries don’t pay toward education falls onto the rest of us.

This kind of blatant conflict of interest and self-dealing is Exhibit A when people talk about political corruption in Illinois, and it has to stop.

It shouldn’t fall to some rookie representative from McHenry County to point out the obvious here.

If our State’s top lawyer will not immediately investigate this outrage, then it’s time to turn it over to someone who will. Chicago just picked up three new U.S. Attorneys; let’s see what they can find.

As for Ms. Madigan, as she plays out the string before stepping down next January, it would be nice if she’d finally let us know where her true loyalty lies: either with those who game a corrupt system which has allowed a select few to make fortunes, or to the oath she took to protect the people of Illinois.

She can’t do both.

If she can’t bring herself to investigate something so open and obvious sitting right beneath her nose, she shouldn’t wait to serve out the rest of her term. She should resign.



State Rep. Steve Reick Calls for Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s Resignation — 10 Comments

  1. The entire time that Lisa Madigan has been AG there has not been 1 corruption case brought forward.

  2. Lisa Madigan? How about our own local corrupt politicians? If we don’t keep McHenry County State’s Attorney’s accountable, how do we expect our corrupt state to State Officials to comply?

    When asked about the status of the Jack Franks falsification of Statement of Economic Interest Disclosures for more than eight years, Edgar County Watchdog Kirk Allen replied “All the information is in the hands of the States’ Attorney and I don’t believe he will do anything.”


    Not the golden child Gasser and others proclaimed.

    Kennealy has acres of land, does he pay taxes like we do?


  3. PP? Pretty bold statement and, if true, something we should all take very seriously.

    Why don’t you show us all the land (public record, you know) that Kennealy owns and then show us the corresponding tax bills to back up your claim?

    If you can, fine! If not you’re just another lying scumbag.

  4. JohnWhine:

    Tax bills?

    He hasn’t lived there long enough… remember he was renting while he ran for office?

    I do know the PIN but would not share it publicly.

    The Recorder’s Office would have the records, but he praised and supported Kenneally.

  5. PP? That “excuse” rings as hollow as your head. I am aware that he is a newcomer to the county. Yet you make the insinuation that he has a lot of property on which he pays no taxes. You won’t share that specific information out of what? Concerns for his privacy while you libel him?

    So he purchased property in mid-2017 for which tax bills have yet to be generated and you claim he pays no taxes.

    You are a POS!

  6. Why would she quit?

    Her daddy Michael put her in that job so that he wouldn’t have any trouble from Illinois law enforcement, and she has done her job perfectly.

    When fellow Cook County Dem Obama was in the White House, Mikey was basically bulletproof from both the State and the Feds.

  7. Would a qui tam lawsuit filed by citizens work here?

    The taxing bodies are losing money, and State law enforcement refuses to act, so why not attempt to collect for the State (and collect a large chunk of the recovery at the same time)?

  8. JohnWhine,
    I never said Patrick didn’t pay any taxes.

    How about residents who have 1 acre and a home with a $15,000 property tax?

    Or those who purchase acreage in agriculture zoning but upon sale and transfer the assessor changes zoning to estate?

    Will the Nunda Assessor change zoning on Pat’s parcel, making Pat pay his fair share?

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