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FELON LEAVES COUNTY JOB

The BGA and FOX 32 reveal that newly elected Cook County Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough hires a family friend with a felony conviction for a top government job. The employee ends up resigning amid the inquiry, and Yarbrough pledges background checks of workers.

LIQUOR REFORMS PROPOSED

After the BGA and CBS2 reveal many Chicago-area mayors take campaign money from bars and restaurants they’re regulating, two officials pledge changes. Aurora’s mayor plans to hand off most liquor licensing duties to a three-member panel to avoid any conflict of interest. Markham’s mayor indicates he’ll stop taking political donations from liquor establishments in his suburb.

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CONTROVERSIAL COP CLUB FOLDS

After the BGA and CBS2 raise questions about a motorcycle club founded by Melrose Park police, some of whom wore patches paying homage to a notorious outlaw biker group, the suburb’s police chief cracks down on his officers, who then disband their club.

PACE CRACKS DOWN ON WEB AFTER BGA INQUIRY

After the BGA requests documents related to social media use by Pace suburban bus employees, the agency launches its own review of worker conduct, disciplines some employees and embraces tighter controls.

PENSION FUND ACTS FOLLOWING BGA PROBE

Prompted by a BGA investigation that raised questions about pension eligibility, the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund decides to strip away taxpayer-subsidized retirement benefits from a politically connected attorney working for the municipal governments in Calumet City and Chicago Heights.

LEGISLATOR CUTS CHECK FOLLOWING BGA INQUIRY

After the BGA disclosed that state Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago) was benefiting from two property tax breaks on his personal property when only one was allowed, Arroyo issued a refund of more than $4,400. 

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PENSION AGENCY LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION

In the wake of questions from the BGA, the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund initiates an investigation into why a part-time contract lawyer for Calumet City’s municipal government stands to collect a six-figure taxpayer-subsidized pension someday.

BGA PROBE PROMPTS PAYBACK FROM POL

Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas and her husband refund more than $5,000 after the BGA disclosed they secured three property tax breaks during the 1990s when only one was allowed.

DUPAGE BOARD MEMBERS SHAMED INTO SHOWING UP MORE

Following a 2011 BGA analysis that found DuPage County Board members were missing numerous public meetings — but still collecting paychecks — their 2012 attendance improves, with officials citing the BGA’s findings as a big reason.