The new Cook County assessor has been in office for exactly one month.
Fritz Kaegi was sworn in Dec. 3, taking the role from controversial former Assessor Joe Berrios, whose office was accused of everything from nepotism to giving high-value properties tax breaks at the expense of low- and middle-income property owners.
Kaegi has vowed to bring fairness, transparency, ethics and modernization to the office, which started with cleaning house.
“It’s been a very busy month,” Kaegi said, adding that his office has a “new team.”
“We’ve let go of all political appointees who were there exclusively due to patronage and nepotism, and we’re really proud of the team that we have,” he said.
Scott Smith, the assessor’s chief communications officer, wouldn’t name or say how many were removed from the team, but said anybody linked to patronage and nepotism are gone, “including family members of Joe Berrios.”
Kaegi has also released his 100 Day Initiatives and Objectives plan, which includes inviting the International Association of Assessing Officers to perform an audit of the office, and beginning the assessment of the North Triad, which includes suburban Barrington, Schaumburg and Wheeling.
Kaegi joins us to discuss his plans for the years to come.