CHICAGO (CBS) — There’s word that a possible federal investigation involves Illinois Governor JB Pritzker.
A WBEZ report said the feds are taking a closer look at how Pritzker got a big property tax cut by ripping toilets out of his Gold Coast mansion.
CBS 2 political reporter Derrick Blakley reports the governor said he did nothing wrong.
When asked if he was worried about criminal charges coming out, Governor JB Pritzker responded “no concerns at all.”
It’s not the kind of question any newly-elected politician wants to answer. But Pritzker is back to talking toilets again, after a public radio report that the feds are probing how he tore the toilets out of a Gold Coast mansion in order to gain a gold-plated tax break.
“I’m very confident that any review of this matter will show that all the rules were followed. I’ve not been contacted by any law enforcement, neither has MK,” Pritzker said.
It was JB’s wife MK, who texted a contractor to have five toilets pulled, so the property could be reclassified as uninhabitable. The result: A tax savings of $331,432.
During the campaign, Republicans charged fraud.
“You’ve got a perjury. You’ve got a conspiracy. You’ve got all kinds of federal crimes,” said former Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady.
Last October, all five Illinois Republican congressmen wrote U.S. Attorney John Lausch calling for a federal probe of the Pritzker tax break. But it was Cook County Inspector General Pat Blanchard, a Democrat, whose report called the Pritzker toilet ploy “a scheme to defraud” which used “sworn affidavits continuing false representations.”
Now, Republicans suggest any federal probe could diminish Pritzker’s political clout.
“My humble advice to the governor is before he asks more taxes from Illinois families and employers, he should get his own taxes in order,” said House Minority Leader Jim Durkin.
That comment, referring to the governor’s push for a graduated income tax that would raise taxes on the wealthy.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office had no comment on whether Pritzker is – or has been – under federal investigation.