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Jake Griffin

Tax Watchdog Editor
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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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Rajskub returns to comedy roots for Zanies shows in Rosemont

Aug 18 2014 | 6:18 am - While taking her dog's for a walk, "24" star Mary Lynn Rajskub ruminates on parenthood, creating an iconic television character and gets a little grossed out by the results of a Google search. Rajskub takes the stage at Zanies in Rosemont for three...

State agency is ignoring salary database law

Aug 13 2014 | 5:21 am - An Illinois law requiring the state to keep a salary database of most local government employees is being disregarded because no money was every appropriated to pay for it. Department officials claim they were never given funding to create the...

School salary data still unavailable in state reports

Aug 12 2014 | 5:10 am - Even though the annual school district report cards were released 10 months ago, information about each district's average teacher and administrative salary has been witheld. Illinois State Board of Education officials said there's a problem...

Average public pension catching up to average salary

Aug 06 2014 | 5:03 am - The average pension for a retired public employee in Illinois is quickly approaching the average salary of those still working, a Daily Herald analysis shows. That doesn't bode well for the financial health of those retirement systems, some analysts...

Software problem leaves residents in dark on water bills

Jul 16 2014 | 9:31 am - Many West Chicago residents haven't seen a water bill in nearly a year because of a software compatability issue. Residents and some city officials complain poor communication from the city has left many residents owing large sums. “It's...

Archaic tax formula leaves most suburbs wanting more

Jul 09 2014 | 4:58 am - Suburban Chicago would be almost unrecognizable to someone who hasn't been here in 35 years. But what's the same is the distribution of funds from a lesser-known state tax that is based on how the suburbs looked in 1979. “If you're allocating...

Experts warn fireworks may trigger PTSD episodes in veterans

Jul 04 2014 | 9:52 am - Fireworks aren't the symbols of freedom and liberty to many suburban combat veterans like they are to everyone else. Instead, the loud explosions and intermittent flashes trigger the anxiety and stress symptomatic of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Publicly owned golf courses losing money, and taxpayers pay

Jun 25 2014 | 5:02 am - A confluence of the economic downturn, declining interest in the sport, poor weather and a glut of course options has put many publicly owned and government-operated golf courses in the red -- and suburban taxpayers pay. “There are too many...

Cook County property tax revenues increase 1 percent collectively

Jun 19 2014 | 5:25 pm - According to the annual property tax report issued by County Clerk David Orr’s office Thursday, the county’s 1,500-plus taxing bodies collectively raised property taxes by more than $122 million. The increase represents a little more...

Which suburbs are income tax givers and takers?

Jul 16 2014 | 1:17 pm - Since municipalities and counties share in the income taxes collected by the state, how much is coming back home? That depends on where you live. Some suburban workers pay a lot more to the state than what comes back through what's known as the...

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