The Honorable Michael M. Cabonargi was sworn-in on February 10, 2011 as the Commissioner of the Second District on the Cook County Board of Review.
The Cook County Board of Review is a quasi-judicial body that is charged with fairly and impartially reviewing the assessments of all property In Chicago and Cook County, correcting all assessments which should be corrected and lowering property taxes as a result. The Board consists of three members elected from individual districts. The Second District includes Chicago’s downtown, north, northwest and southwest communities.
Commissioner Cabonargi has worked to ensure homeowners and business owners receive a full and fair review of the assessed values of their property and to guarantee schools and local communities receive their needed revenues when they need them.
To accomplish these goals, Commissioner Cabonargi has made the Board of Review more transparent, open, efficient and effective.
His office has contacted more than 1.5 million residents and held more than 250 community outreach sessions to educate homeowners and help them file appeals with the Board of Review. Commissioner Cabonargi further opened the Board to the public by obtaining translations of its appeal forms into Spanish, Polish, Korean, Chinese and other languages spoken by Cook County residents.
Under his leadership, the Board launched a digital appeals processing system that reengineered and digitized the appeal review process, saves money in employee overtime and document storage and ultimately provides taxpayers a more efficient, complete and reliable review of their appeals. The National Association of Counties recognized this digital system with a Achievement Award that honors innovative, effective county government programs that enhance services for residents.
Prior to his appointment, Commissioner Cabonargi served as a senior attorney and federal prosecutor in the Chicago Regional Office of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Commissioner Cabonargi investigated and litigated a wide variety of cases, including insider trading, offering fraud, pay-to-play, and pyramid/Ponzi schemes. Commissioner Cabonargi received the SEC Director’s Award for Excellence for combating financial fraud targeting seniors and he received the Chairman’s Award for bringing the largest private offering fraud case filed by the Commission in the amount of $2.8 billion.
Prior to joining the SEC, Commissioner Cabonargi was an attorney in private practice with a concentration in complex commercial and regulatory litigation. Prior to entering private practice, Commissioner Cabonargi served as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge William J. Hibbler in Chicago. During his clerkship, Commissioner Cabonargi initiated and helped to establish the court’s first help desk for pro se litigants, for which he received the Award for Excellence in Public Interest Service from the Federal Bar Association and the U.S. District Court.
Commissioner Cabonargi served previously as an aide to United States Senators Richard J. Durbin (D-IL) and Paul Simon (D-IL).
Commissioner Cabonargi received his J.D. with honors from the University of Illinois College of Law and a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in Foreign Affairs from Miami University.