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updated: 10/24/2013 4:49 PM

Assessor denies any role in bribery case

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  • Joseph Berrios

      Joseph Berrios

 
Associated Press

Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios is denying accusations that surfaced in a federal bribery trial claiming he took part in property tax adjustment deals.

Berrios hasn't been charged with a crime. He says the wiretapped conversations are a "total lie." The conversation between two former county employees was played in court this week, connecting him to a scheme to pay money to lower property taxes.

Berrios told the Chicago Sun-Times he never accepted bribes and that the question "doesn't even deserve an answer."

He also says he hasn't talked to federal investigators or an attorney about the matter.

Berrios was criticized for nepotism after he fired several employees in 2010 and replaced them with family member. He defended the hirings, saying having family work for the government isn't new.

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