Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has made quick work of appointing a new Chief of Staff. In a press release Monday morning, Preckwinkle announced former Illinois Department of Revenue Director Brian Hamer would be joining her team. Hamer has served as Revenue Director from his appointment to the slot by then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich in 2003 until January of 2015.
Since exiting his state role at the start of the Rauner administration, Hamer has been a columnist with State Tax Notes.
Hamer will take over for Tasha Green Cruzat, who announced her resignation February 24 to head up the education advocacy group Voices for Illinois Children. Cruzat served an eight month stint to replace Kim Foxx, who recently won the Democratic primary for Cook County State’s Attorney.
Hamer’s salary as state Revenue Director was $142,339 a year.
Prior to his long stretch at the Revenue Department, Hamer served as First Deputy in Chicago’s Department of Revenue from 1998 to 2003, where, according to his appointment from Gov. Blagojevich, he “oversaw policy for settling tax disputes and modernized the city’s tax code.” From 1990 to 1997 Hamer was Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Tax Division of Chicago’s Law Department.
Hamer is a graduate of Yale (B.A.) and Columbia Law School. He also worked at Chicago mega-firm Mayer Brown.