A complaint that a lawyer who headed a state agency that rules on property tax appeals pressured his staff to give former President Donald Trump a $1 million tax break on Chicago’s Trump Tower was “unfounded,” the Illinois Office of Executive Inspector General has determined.
But the watchdog agency on state government also found that Mauro Glorioso, who was executive director of the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board, violated state law and policy by deleting files and emails related to Trump’s tax appeal.
The findings this week came in an investigation into an anonymous complaint the state inspector general’s office got in 2019 that said Glorioso rejected his staff’s decision to deny Trump any refund and pressed for a ruling in the president’s favor on the riverfront high-rise.
Glorioso, a Republican lawyer from Westchester, had been appointed to the post by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker earlier that year.
In October 2020, Pritzker removed him from the agency amid the investigation and a backlog of cases at the agency known for short as PTAB, which can overrule county officials’ decisions on property tax assessments, resulting in lower tax bills.
After the Chicago Sun-Times reported on the state investigation, Glorioso filed a libel suit against the newspaper.
In the report saying the anonymous complaint against Glorioso was unfounded, the inspector general office said “an allegation is ‘founded’ when it has determined that there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation of law or policy has occurred or that there has been fraud, waste, mismanagement, misconduct, nonfeasance, misfeasance or malfeasance.”
But, in a second probe, the inspector general found that Glorioso “violated PTAB policy, directives and state law relating to the maintenance of records by deleting PTAB files and emails in October 2020,” shortly before he left the agency.
The deleted records included documents related to the Trump case, the report said. The deletions came days after the Sun-Times asked for copies of such records under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, the state law that provides public access to government records in most cases.
As a result of the finding that he deleted records, the inspector general recommended that “a copy of this report be placed in Mr. Glorioso’s employment file and that he not be rehired by the state.”
The inspector general filed the report with the state’s Executive Ethics Commission.
Responding to the report, William Quinlan, a lawyer representing Glorioso, told the ethics commission the inspector general’s “conclusions are unfounded and unwarranted.
“Mr. Glorioso knew that his emails had been backed up by the PTAB IT department when he deleted them from his local inbox and further had been told by the OEIG investigator investigating the first complaint relating to the appeal that the OEIG did not need any further materials,” Quinlan wrote.
Trump’s appeal involved the commercial space at his building at 401 N. Wabash Ave.