Peraica, Beavers pointing fingers over ethics
May 9, 2007
By Jonathan Lipman Staff writer
Tony Peraica's expected counter-punch landed Tuesday in what has become an escalating political tiff over ethics violations with Cook County Commissioner Bill Beavers and Board President Todd Stroger.
Contributors to both Beavers' and Stroger's political campaigns violated the county's ethics ordinance, Peraica alleged in a statement Tuesday.
Peraica (R-Riverside) is due up Thursday in the county finance committee to answer Beavers' allegation that he has done the same. Peraica has acknowledged he accepted donations that violated the policy and has promised to give them back.
"I will hold myself accountable for any mistakes that were made," Peraica said in the statement. "But I will also hold accountable any of my fellow commissioners who repeatedly flout the ethics rules and insult the very taxpayers they purport to represent."
Stroger promised Tuesday to also return contributions that violated the ordinance, but hit back at Peraica.
"Commissioner Peraica has the nerve to issue a press release accusing the president of violating the ethics ordinance when he was just caught violating it," Stroger spokesman Steve Mayberry said. "It's hilarious. -- He should get his own house in order."
A message left for Beavers (D-Chicago) was not returned.
At issue for all three politicians is an oft-flouted provision of the county ethics code that forbids anyone who does business with the county or forest preserve government from donating more than $3,000 to a county official.
The ordinance is written so the violation is the donor's fault -- the politician who got the money faces no consequences.
Peraica ran afoul of the ordinance when he accepted $2,000-per-month worth of free campaign office space from the same man, Asif Yusuf, who Peraica pays for his district commissioner's office.
Stroger's campaign accepted $15,500 last year from John Sterling. Sterling's company, Synch-Solutions, has