Should nepotism rule apply to Cook County Board of Review?

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Staff Writer

In the eight years since he was first elected after a hard-fought primary race, successful personal-injury lawyer Larry Rogers Jr. has avoided scandal as a commissioner at the obscure but highly influential agency that decides property tax appeals in Cook County.

But last month two emplyees at the county Board of Review were arrested and charged with taking bribes to fix tax appeals cases while they worked on Rogers’ staff.

And in today’s Chicago Sun-Times, the Watchdogs column reveals how Rogers employed his half-brother for years in a taxpayer-paid position, despite a county ordinance that forbids nepotism in hiring.

Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios shrugged off recent charges that he violated the ordinance by hiring two relatives, saying that the rule doesn’t apply to him.

Rogers would not say whether he thinks the ordinance should apply to the Board of Review, but he said his half-brother — and two relatives of his law partner who also work for him — have done well by taxpayers.

Do you think the rule against nepotism should apply to board commissioners?

And do you think hiring a relative tarnished Rogers’ efforts to portray himself as a reformer?

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