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Toni Preckwinkle appoints new ethics chief after Berrios flap

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle reveals 2013 Cook County Budget Cook County Building Thursday October 18 2012.  I

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle reveals the 2013 Cook County Budget at the Cook County Building on Thursday, October 18, 2012. I Stacie Scott~Sun Times-Media

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Updated: September 1, 2013 6:43AM

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has chosen lawyer Ranjit James Hakim as the new executive director of the county’s Board of Ethics.

The announcement Tuesday came as the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Preckwinkle had quietly fired MaryNic Foster, the board’s longtime executive director, who had pressed an ethics case and fines against county Assessor Joe Berrios.

Berrios, who also is the county Democratic Party leader, has ignored $10,000 in fines levied by the ethics board and ignored its recommendation that he fire three relatives who are on his agency’s payroll.

Spokeswoman Kristen Mack said Preckwinkle continues to support taking legal action to fight Berrios’ claim that the ethics board has no authority over him.

Hakim graduated from University of Chicago Law School in 2005 and has worked for the law firm Mayer Brown LLP since 2006, according to Preckwinkle’s office.

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