2014 election guide

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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Griffin: Some residents taxed twice for sheriff patrols

Oct 22 2014 | 4:59 am - Taxpayers from unincorporated areas in four DuPage County townships are spending an extra $530,648 this year to pay for special sheriff's patrols. While voters approved paying for the special patrols more than two decades ago, some are questioning...

Carpentersville defies ruling to release post-traffic stop death details

Oct 23 2014 | 6:18 pm - Carpentersville officials are refusing to abide by a ruling from Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office compelling them to release details about the arrest of a man who died at a hospital hours after an encounter with police.

Teachers get most of their demands in proposed Hinsdale contract

Oct 18 2014 | 1:30 pm - Most of the Hinsdale High School District 86 teachers union’s demands are being met in a new two-year contract expected to be ratified Monday by the school board. That’s according to a copy of the contract proposal obtained by the...

Man accused of shooting McHenry Co. cops had rocky military history

Oct 17 2014 | 8:55 pm - The man accused of shooting two McHenry County deputies had an “expert” rifle rating — the Army’s top grade — along with a troubled and checkered service history, military records show. Scott B. Peters of Holiday...

Duckworth announces military retirement

Oct 14 2014 | 3:46 pm - Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, who lost both legs when the Blackhawk helicopter she was piloting was shot down during combat operations in Iraq, has announced her retirement from the military. The announcement is on the heels of the 46-year-old...

Despite $1.9 million investment, Cook court parking fees abandoned

Oct 11 2014 | 7:30 am - Cook County officials have spent $1.9 million on upgrades to allow charging fees at suburban courthouses, but they now have abandoned the parking fee plan after backlash from employee unions. “It became a collective bargaining issue,”...

Spending up, but not taxes, in Preckwinkle budget

Oct 09 2014 | 6:26 pm - Leaning on savings from the Affordable Care Act, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle unveiled her $3.9 billion proposed budget for 2015 that calls for $400 million in additional spending, but no new taxes or fees.

Griffin: How DuPage County population growth could hurt Cook County

Oct 08 2014 | 5:04 am - When the population of DuPage County hits 1 million, it could cost Cook County upward of $45 million. That's because the state's motor fuel tax law grants counties with more than 1 million residents a significant percentage of the more than $1...

Failed Rosemont casino suit ends with $272 million verdict

Oct 03 2014 | 10:53 am - A federal judge ruled that six former officers of the failed Emerald Casino bid in Rosemont owe creditors $272 million for losing the company's gaming license. The six men each owe $45.3 million for failing to comply with the Illinois Gaming Board's...

Griffin: Why gas tax distribution varies in suburbs

Oct 01 2014 | 5:01 am - When Wheeling has to fix its roads, the village can count on $14,096 per mile in motor fuel taxes disbursed by the state. North Barrington gets just $3,647 a mile. The towns are the two extremes among 73 suburbs analyzed by the Daily Herald. Funding...

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