Jake Griffin

Assistant Managing Editor/Watchdog Reporting
  • Phone(847) 427-4602
  • Emailjgriffin@dailyherald.com
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Jake Griffin is the assistant managing editor for watchdog reporting at the Daily Herald. He writes a weekly column appearing Wednesdays on tax spending and 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 and daughter.

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Why four tiny suburbs spent thousands at Chicago conference

Dec 13 2017 | 9:00 am - While some towns opted to spend thousands for officials to attend the Illinois Municipal League conference in downtown Chicago in September, a growing number chose to send no one at all.

Levine won’t face sex abuse charges in Lake County

Dec 08 2017 | 4:54 pm - Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim won’t charge famed conductor and former Ravinia Festival Music Director James Levine after investigating accusations of sexual abuse by him against a teenage boy in the mid-1980s.

$1,325 dinner for 11? Taxpayers cover hotels, dining, booze at conference

Dec 06 2017 | 7:30 am - Nearly $120,000 was spent to send 151 suburban officials to the annual Illinois Municipal League conference in downtown Chicago in September, with some staying in $300-a-night hotel rooms, dining on $98 chateaubriand and valet parking their cars for...

Schools want reimbursement for election security

Nov 29 2017 | 7:29 pm - A Naperville school district is pushing a law to get reimbursement from local election officials for extra security on days when schools are used as polling places.

IMRF pension system hires new leader

Nov 17 2017 | 3:38 pm - The Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund board has picked Chicago native and Memphis CFO Brian Collins to replace retiring executive director Louis Kosiba.

Lure of free pizza draws 200 to Streamwood CiCi’s opening

Nov 16 2017 | 8:23 am - Some fans of CiCi’s waited in line for more than 13 hours before the Streamwood pizza buffet franchise’s 11 a.m. Wednesday grand opening in hopes of receiving a card allowing them one free buffet trip a month for the next year.

Assessors claim Lake County is unfairly taxing thousands

Nov 17 2017 | 9:42 am - The Lake County Assessors Association is suing the county and its appointed chief assessment officer, claiming they are burdening thousands of property owners with higher tax bills.

With Madigan leaving office, will public records access suffer?

Nov 08 2017 | 8:39 am - When a government denies access to records you want to see or closes a meeting you believe should be open to the public, what’s your recourse? In 4,720 instances last year, the next stop was the office of the public access counselor run by...

Gurnee man killed in Streamwood sewer a rugby athlete called 'String Bean'

Oct 30 2017 | 8:26 am - The same lithe body type that made Brett Morrow easy to dismiss on a rugby pitch was also what made him an asset at his construction job working to install lining in slender sewer pipes. The 22-year-old from Gurnee was doing that job Wednesday when...

Wisconsin man indicted after teen’s rescue from Schaumburg hotel

Oct 25 2017 | 3:10 pm - A Wisconsin man was indicted on federal charges related to underage prostitution. Prosecutors say he lured a girl from West Virginia to work as a prostitute in various Northwest suburban hotels before she was finally rescued from a Schaumburg hotel.

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