DuPage Co. (ECWd) –
We suspect Federal and State Authorities will take great interest in the e-mail exchange that took place between Respicio Vazquez of Franczek Radelet, and Dianne McGuire, College of DuPage Board Trustee.
In February of 2015, a flurry of Grand Jury subpoenas from State and Federal authorities were served on the College of DuPage. According to the Local Records Commission, a legal hold is to be placed on all records related to any legal matter before the public body. Specifically, on each Records Disposition document issued to COD it states in capital letters; AS LONG AS THEY ARE NOT NEEDED FOR ANY LITIGATION EITHER PENDING OR ANTICIPATED.
In addition to specific direction from the Local Records Commission, 50 ILCS 205/7 states in section 7; “Disposition rules. Except as otherwise provided by law, no public record shall be disposed of by any officer or agency unless the written approval of the appropriate Local Records Commission is first obtained.”
50 ILCS 205 section 4 states in part; ….“Any person who knowingly, without lawful authority and with the intent to defraud any party, public officer, or entity, alters, destroys, defaces, removes, or conceals any public record commits a Class 4 felony.”
January 5th, 2016, 9 monthst after being terminated as legal counsel and well into numerous criminal investigations at COD, Res Vazquez sends an email to Diane McGuire at her COD e-mail account and provides her specific instructions. Also contained in the written instructions appears to be an acknowledgment that the same instructions were provided in a phone message.
“FYI – Per my phone message, please delete the email from your COD email account ASAP. There may be a backup but it may be deleted from the COD system after a some brief period.”
It is clear, we have an attorney instructing a public official to delete a public record, an email communication, from their email account and he wants her to do it As Soon As Possible. Could this be viewed as obstruction of justice by the authorities? Not knowing what that communication was and whether or not it has ties to the criminal investigation makes it difficult to determine if a violation of law or rules of conduct have been committed, assuming such advice had an attorney/client connection.
Res Vazquez knew that COD was under Federal and State Grand Jury Subpoenas as he was an attorney representing COD when they were issued. With that in mind, let’s not forget that his claimed expertise is in school law, which is why Trustees Wozniak and McGuire wanted him retained instead of the current counsel, Rathje & Woodward, LLC. Vazquez is the same attorney that considered board members raising their hands, deemed an action of voting in closed session, was not voting (Admission of Guilt) .
An attorney practicing law in the State of Illinois has certain standards they are accountable to. A violation of those standards can lead to disciplinary action against them to the point of disbarment in certain circumstances. The question we don’t know at this time is in what capacity was Res Vazquez communicating with Dianne McGuire? Was she his client? Was he simply offering his input as a private citizen to an elected official? Answers to those questions must be answered before any conclusion can be drawn as to possible violations of Rules of Conduct for an attorney.
It is becoming evident from McGuire’s past actions, in concert with Birt and Wozniak, that she is interested in matters materially adverse to the good of the College, and to the Board as a whole. Now with ties to the former COD attorney being revealed we can only wonder what her next move is going to be and what bad advice may come from those she trusts.
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