Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios. | Sun-Times Photo
Updated: April 25, 2014 6:14AM
The Cook County Board of Ethics on Friday filed a lawsuit against Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios, demanding that a judge order him to pay a $10,000 fine for hiring his sister and son to work in his office.
Berrios originally was ordered to pay the fine in 2012 after a Board of Ethics investigation into the hirings, according to the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.
Berrios hired his sister and son to work at the assessor’s office just two days after he was sworn in on Dec. 6, 2010, according to the lawsuit. They were paid $108,000 and $68,000, respectively.
The Board of Ethics conducted an investigation shortly after and found that Berrios violated the antinepotism laws by hiring his sister and son, the lawsuit said.
However, Berrios has refused to pay the fine, arguing that any ethics ordinance does not apply to him, nor does the Board of Ethics have any jurisdiction over him, the lawsuit said.
The three-count lawsuit is seeking action to enforce the ethics ordinance against Berrios, have him pay the original $10,000 fine within 30 days of the court’s judgment and comply with the ethics board, the lawsuit said.
Representatives for the assessor’s office could not immediately be reached for comment on the lawsuit Friday night.
Sun-Times Media Wire