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Jake Griffin

Tax Watchdog Editor
  • Phone(847) 427-4602
  • Emailjgriffin@dailyherald.com
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Jake Griffin is a senior staff writer at the Daily Herald covering government accountability. From 2007 to 2010 he was responsible for coverage of DuPage County government. Before that, he covered Naperville from 2004 to 2007. He came to the Daily Herald in 2000, serving as the West Chicago and Warrenville beat reporter until 2004.

Currently, he is responsible for producing in-depth projects and analysis of government spending and tax-dollar waste. He has worked on a number of projects, including the Daily Herald's award-winning coverage of the Northern Illinois University campus shootings and subsequent recovery efforts.

He chronicled the DuPage Water Commission's misspending of its $69 million reserve fund. Most recently, he completed a series detailing how hundreds of public pools in the state don't comply with federal safety regulations.

Griffin has appeared on ABC 7 Sunday morning broadcasts and WBBM NewsRadio 780, where he discusses stories he has written for the Daily Herald.

Growing up in northeastern Oregon, Griffin's first job as a child was delivering a regional newspaper every afternoon and a local newspaper every Tuesday morning. His family moved to St. Louis, Mo., when he was 14 and he enrolled in a high school magnet program for journalism before beginning a series of newsroom internships throughout suburban St. Louis. He attended college at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Mo., where he received a journalism scholarship.

He worked at the Joplin Globe throughout college, starting as a part-time sports writer, then as a part-time feature writer and finally covering "cops and courts" full time before moving to Chicago in 1999.

Throughout his career, he has covered presidential debates, national political conventions, the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to China and statehouse government. Griffin lives in Chicago with his wife.

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COD president Breuder chose against guaranteed pension

Jan 28 2015 | 2:35 pm - Departing College of DuPage President Robert Breuder’s decision to self-manage his retirement benefits cost him thousands of guaranteed dollars even though taxpayers have contributed at least $418,000 on his behalf. “Most academics might...

Blackhawks reporter Mike Spellman mourned as life of the press box

Jan 21 2015 | 11:10 pm - Anyone who ever met him has a Mike Spellman story. Using his affable, irreverent and gleefully self-deprecating wit, Spellman was able to disarm the biggest of the sports world's big cheeses as well as any irate reader who wanted to challenge one of...

Griffin: Municipal retirees' insurance cost taxpayers millions

Jan 21 2015 | 10:51 am - More than 2,100 former employees in 57 suburbs cost taxpayers almost $16.5 million in health insurance costs last year. And experts expect that figure to keep rising as more municipal employees head into retirement before they are eligible for...

Neighbors foot tax bill for North Central College president's home

Jan 07 2015 | 5:23 am - Before it became North Central College President Troy Hammond's home in 2013, the house at 409 E. Chicago Ave. in Naperville was responsible for more than $30,000 a year in property taxes. Now, the three-story, Victorian-style house that had a $1.2...

How to find public information in Illinois

Dec 31 2014 | 2:58 pm - Want hard-to-find information about the operations of your town, school district or any other government agency? Daily Herald Suburban Tax Watchdog Jake Griffin offers some advice.

Christmas celebration for families of Lake County inmates

Dec 20 2014 | 6:42 pm - A parade from a local shelter to the Lake County jail was the newest addition to the annual "Bring Joy to the Jail" celebration. The event offers toys and food to families of inmates and other needy families in the community. Lake County...

Palatine Marine returns home, feted at Christian Liberty Academy

Dec 20 2014 | 8:43 pm - Phil and Ann Kwiatkowski got one of the best Christmas presents parents with a child in the military can receive. Their oldest son Stephen ended his four-year hitch in the U.S. Marine Corps after two tours in Afghanistan and is back home in...

Watchdog: Deal helps Medinah club, could hurt neighbors

Dec 16 2014 | 11:48 pm - A settlement deal that promises backloaded assessment reductions for Medinah Country Club this year through 2016 could wind up meaning higher taxes for neighboring property owners over the next three years. But officials who negotiated the deal...

Suburbs losing phone tax revenue; will consumers pay later?

Dec 10 2014 | 5:26 am - Changes in how people communicate mean sharp drops in phone tax revenue in nearly every suburb. And some lobbyists and other experts are guessing what that means: Changes that could cost some consumers more after the state's telecommunications law...

Griffin: How cautious budgeting helps keep taxes higher

Dec 03 2014 | 5:11 am - Several suburban home rule communities have real estate transfer taxes that are intended to lift some of the tax burden from property owners. However, despite increases in recent years, most municipalities are significantly underestimating transfer...

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