Oral Arguments to be held July 24, 2012 in Corruption Case Against Chicago's Cook County Board of Review:
(July 24, 2011 – Chicago) Two employees, both analysts at the Cook County’s tax appeal board, the Cook County Board of Review, were arrested and charged by Federal prosecutors on July 18, 2012 for bribery. Both men were on the staff of Cook County Commissioner Larry Rogers, Jr. The Chicago Sun Times reported that according to federal prosecutors the two employees "discussed scheming with others to make property tax reductions in exchange for bribes." Oral arguments will be held (case#10 cv 6682) at 3:30 pm on July 24, 2012 in the United States District Court’s Ceremonial Courtroom in a Federal lawsuit that alleges the exact same thing--that pay for play and bribery are the mandatory means for the adjudication of property tax appeals in Cook County.
The civil case is of consequence to every property owner in Cook County and Chicago. Business owners, Sharad Dani and Harish Dani along with Satkar Corporation filed a Federal lawsuit against the Cook County Board of Review and its three Commissioners and staff including Larry R. Rogers, Jr. and current Assessor Joseph Berrios for arbitrarily singling them out for tax increases because they were thought to be associated with an unpopular state representative. The lawsuit charges that the Defendants, (Board of Review Commissioners and staff) use the tax appeal body for “unabashed self-dealing, capriciousness and corruption,”
The lawsuit also named a local Fox News affiliate and its reporter Dane Placko, for engaging in unscrupulous, and immoral tabloid journalism. It states that the local Fox News and Dane Placko, in exchange for access, were used by the Commissioners and Board of Review employees to insinuate wrongdoing on the part of the Plaintiffs and former Illinois State Representative Paul Froehlich-all in a successful effort to deflect attention from the investigation of actual wrongdoing of the Board of Review by Federal and state authorities.
After Federal investigators arrested the two Board of Review employees for bribery, lead attorney R. Tamara de Silva received a letter from Former State Representative Paul Froehlich, directed to Fox’s Dane Placko, questioning whether Placko will return an Emmy that he received for the false story. The letter states,
“Yet I still have the perpetual stigma of "under criminal investigation."
record now stands, my obituary some day will repeat he "under investigation"
Suppose some reporter had repeatedly alleged on the air that you were "under investigation"
Attorney R. Tamara de Silva commented that, “I received a letter from Representative Paul Froehlich, which he had sent to Dane Placko-it reminded my of a quotation from Rush Limbaugh on tabloid journalism, "The drive-by media. It’s like a drive-by shooter except the microphones are the guns, and they drive into groups of people, they report a bunch of totally wrong libelous stuff about people. Sometimes people get really harmed. They go out and try to destroy people’s careers.’' Ms. de Silva went on to say, "This case is a battle for accountability. The major networks assume that no one will ever fight back because of the David and Goliath nature of suing the media in the age of sensationalized tabloid journalism. Similarly, whatever local government officials in Cook County may think-no entity, however powerful, should be allowed to trample upon the rights of private citizens simply because they think they can. Cook County government is not above the law and no one should have to check their Constitutional rights at the door when they step into a local government agency.”
More information can be found at http://www.desilvalawoffices.com/