Foxx asked to review Pritzker's taxes on toiletless mansion; he donated to her campaign

  • J.B. Pritzker

    J.B. Pritzker

  • Kim Foxx

    Kim Foxx

  • John Trivedi, left, speaks about high property taxes during a political event at his Des Plaines home where, behind him from left, Cook County Commissioner Sean Morrison, Gov. Bruce Rauner and Commissioner Tim Schneider called on the Cook County state's attorney to investigate an inspector general's report critical of a tax break given to Democratic candidate J.B. Pritzker.

      John Trivedi, left, speaks about high property taxes during a political event at his Des Plaines home where, behind him from left, Cook County Commissioner Sean Morrison, Gov. Bruce Rauner and Commissioner Tim Schneider called on the Cook County state's attorney to investigate an inspector general's report critical of a tax break given to Democratic candidate J.B. Pritzker. Marni Pyke | Staff Photographer

 
 

The prosecutor Republicans want to investigate tax fraud allegations involving Democratic candidate for governor J.B. Pritzker received a campaign contribution from the Chicagoan and his wife in 2016.

The Pritzkers gave Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx donations of $5,400 each Oct. 21, 2016, when she was running for her first term, state records show.

"The matter is in the hands of our special prosecutions unit; we have no further comment at this time," a spokeswoman for the state's attorney's office said Thursday.

Pritzker is fighting off an offensive from Republican Bruce Rauner, who called his rival's property tax break of $331,000 on a Gold Coast mansion "white collar crime" at a campaign stop in Des Plaines

Meanwhile in Chicago, Pritzker pounded Rauner over deaths from Legionnaires' disease at a state veterans' home, saying, "These are his failures and they're criminal."

Days before appealing their property assessment in 2015, the Pritzkers hired a plumber to remove toilets from the mansion and then called it "uninhabitable" in documents submitted to the Cook County assessor for 2012 through 2015, a watchdog report said.

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Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard concluded the actions that resulted in a lower assessment were a "scheme to defraud" the county.

Pritzker said he followed the rules and the Sept. 28 report was "an internal memo leaked for political purposes about problems in the assessor's office." This week, Pritzker repaid the $331,432 he received in tax breaks.

At a press event with Rauner in Des Plaines Thursday, Cook County Commissioners Tim Schneider and Sean Morrison said they were writing to Foxx asking her to investigate the IG's report.

"Hopefully we have a state's attorney who will investigate and do the right thing," Rauner said. "For her to say 'no' or just stay silent, as she has, that is clear evidence of partisanship."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"This is not about toilets. This is about criminal fraud. Heaven forbid, the people of Illinois vote for a person who immediately after the election is indicted and goes to jail."

Des Plaines homeowner John Trivedi, who hosted Rauner at the event, said: "When I bought this house I was paying $8,000 to $9,000. Now I'm paying almost $18,000. It is too much."

Trivedi added that the value of his property has declined.

A spokesman for Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios said the agency wasn't aware the Pritzkers owned the property that was the subject of the appeal because the appeal forms were signed by Pritzker proxies.

"An absence of plumbing fixtures, for any reason, would not be enough for the assessor's office to grant vacancy reduction based on a home being uninhabitable," Deputy Assessor Tom Shaer said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Wednesday, Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced she would investigate the Rauner administration over its handling of 14 deaths at a veterans' home in Quincy.

"It's time we had a grand jury get to the bottom of it," Pritzker said Thursday.

Rauner responded that "as soon as the Legionella infection occurred there, members of our team immediately took action to keep the veterans safe and the staff safe."

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