UPDATED 8:40 a.m. | The Democratic nominee for Illinois governor says he will repay the Cook County treasurer more than $330,000 worth of property-tax breaks he received in what an investigator called a "scheme to defraud" taxpayers.
The Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday that campaign officials for J.B. Pritzker say the billionaire will repay the county by the end of next week. He will pay nearly $133,000 for refunds for 2012, 2013 and 2014. He will also pay nearly $199,000 for additional tax savings for 2015 and 2016.
The Chicago Sun-Times first reported on Monday that Cook County Inspector General Patrick Blanchard alleges in a report that Pritzker family members and an associate made "false representations" in sworn affidavits about the condition of a Chicago mansion the Pritzkers own. The report says the candidate's wife M.K. Pritzker asked contractors to remove toilets so it could be deemed "uninhabitable" before a property-value reassessment.
U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis and Darin LaHood, who both represent parts of Bloomington-Normal, joined other House Republicans from Illinois in asking for a federal investigation. They sent a letter to U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois John Lausch Jr. on Wednesday.
"Illinois, perhaps more than any other state, has suffered greatly due to public corruption. Four of Illinois’ last nine governors have gone to prison. It is important to send a strong signal to the people of Illinois that no one is above the law, not even billionaires running for Governor. For that reason, we urge you to fully investigate this matter with all due speed," they wrote.
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