Jake Griffin

Assistant Managing Editor/Projects
  • 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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Bartlett man receives 6-year prison sentence

Jul 30 2015 | 4:53 pm - A Bartlett man was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to felony drug possession following a March raid on his home by authorities that netted nearly a kilogram of cocaine.

Bill would ban lobbying groups from public pensions

Jul 30 2015 | 9:49 am - Legislation spawned by a Daily Herald investigation was introduced today that would eliminate access to public pensions for a bevy of state lobbying groups.

What damage did Cook's sales tax hike do last time?

Jul 22 2015 | 10:58 am - The last time Cook County raised its sales tax rate, sales were actually higher than in surrounding counties. But will those fortunes hold this time?

How 71% of Elgin tourism bureau's costs went to salaries, travel

Jul 15 2015 | 8:36 am - While some of the taxes generated by Elgin hotels are intended to fund tourism initiatives, much of that revenue was spent on Elgin Area Convention and Visitors Bureau salaries and travel last year. Some want evidence of how that paid off.

Winfield Criterium brings out competitor in all ages

Jul 11 2015 | 7:32 pm - The 16th annual Winfield Criterium, held Saturday in the streets of the western suburb, brings out the competitor in all age groups.

Griffin: Taxpayers foot six-figure pension for private employee

Jul 01 2015 | 9:41 am - It's not a government job, but the Illinois Association of Park Districts leader still gets a taxpayer-funded salary of $360,000 a year and six-figure public pension contribution, Suburban Tax Watchdog Jake Griffin writes.

Why property taxes are up for most of Cook County

Jun 18 2015 | 11:56 pm - Property owners in the northern Cook County suburbs can expect an average increase of about $155 on their property tax bills in the coming year, Cook County Clerk David Orr reports. Wheeling residents could see a much bigger increase, while some in...

McCarthy brings ‘Dirty, Sexy, Funny’ home to St. Charles

Jun 11 2015 | 6:36 am - Hometown girl Jenny McCarthy is bringing her troupe of "Dirty, Sexy, Funny" comedians to St. Charles' Arcada Theatre for two shows Friday and Saturday.

Employees calling in sick for Super Bowl cost taxpayers $280,000

Jun 10 2015 | 7:09 am - Would a Blackhawks Stanley Cup win cost taxpayers? Maybe, if the past is any indication. On Super Bowl Sunday and the following day, overtime costs topped $280,000 at Cook County and five collar county sheriffs' offices when more than 1,500...

Former lawmaker recalls Hastert as ‘Mr. Clean’

Jun 08 2015 | 8:27 pm - Former state lawmaker Doris Karpiel expresses shock about the Hastert case and remembers a time he had a person dressed as Big Bird sent to her office.

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