Chicago Machine Boss Has 15 Family Members On Public Payroll

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2012 | By Marathon Pundit

Joe Berrios is the Cook County Assessor. He's also the chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party--the Machine.

You'll learn from the Chicago Sun-Times that government has been good to him--and his family.

That got him in trouble with the county ethics board, which called for Berrios to fire three family members who are on his staff and fined him $10,000 for violating the county's anti-nepotism ban by hiring two of them -- his son and sister -- after he was elected assessor in 2010.

But the Berrios family's presence on government payrolls goes far beyond that. In September, his nephew Stephen Berrios got a job working for the Cook County judiciary. That made him the 13th member of the powerful politician's family on a county or state payroll, a Chicago Sun-Times examination of government records shows.

And two of Berrios' siblings have recently retired from government jobs and now get public pensions. Count them, and that makes 15 members of the Berrios family who receive a total of more than $1.05 million a year in wages and pension payments, records show.