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updated: 6/26/2012 6:43 PM

Cook County assessor says nepotism rules don't apply to him

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  • Joseph Berrios

      Joseph Berrios

Associated Press

Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios says ethics rules concerning the hiring of relatives don't apply to him.

The Cook County ethics board has recommended Berrios, who was elected to the post in 2010, fire two of the three relatives who work in the government tax office. Berrios' son, Joseph "Joey" Berrios, works as a residential analyst, and the assessor's sister, Carmen Berrios, is director of taxpayer services.

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The Chicago Sun-Times reported the ethics board determined Berrios violated his fiduciary duties as well as a prohibition on hiring relatives laid out in the county's ethics ordinance.

Berrios said Tuesday Cook County state's attorney opinions dating to 1994 have determined the county's ethics ordinance does not apply to independently elected officials, and "we believe the same is true in this matter."

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