Northern Illinois University (NIU) – (ECWd) –
In what should have been his time for rebuttal statements, the College of DuPage Foundation attorney spent a considerable amount of time verbally attacking the Chicago Tribune and the downstate “Muckrakers of the farm fields,” the Edgar County Watchdogs, before being reminded by the Court that he might not be spending his time appropriately.
We attended the Appellate Court Oral Testimony of the Tribune’s appeal from the DuPage Circuit Court in a Freedom Of Information Act suit where the Chicago Tribune is trying to obtain a copy of the Subpoena served in reference to the COD Foundation, Chicago Tribune v. College of DuPage and College of DuPage Foundation.
Some of the key points focused on by the Court was the status of the employees of the foundation/COD and the arrangement between COD and the foundation for office space. COD Foundation kept claiming it was nothing more than an in-kind donation from the college to the foundation, where no funds changed hands for lease of office space.
To us, it appeared this case centers around the relationship between the COD employees and foundation “employees”, and the college and the foundation in relation to use of office space. All salaries and benefits are paid by the college – even when those employees are allegedly conducting foundation business.
On rebuttal, at about the 52:30 mark in the audio, the foundation attorney thought it was a good idea to attack the Chicago Tribune and its news gathering abilities while falsely claiming the Tribune had “outsourced its investigation to a group of internet bloggers” (referring to Edgar County Watchdogs) and further complained that the Tribune wrote about us and described us as “the Muckrakers of farm fields” – yes, they did write about us on the front page of their Sunday, March 2, 2015, Print Edition.
He also quoted Assistant State’s Attorney Donahue, from Vermilion County, who had been the subject of quite a few of our articles on the Wind Farm issue in Vermilion County and the illegal gifting of several acres of public property to a private individual without receiving any compensation for it. Donahue was quoted by the Tribune as saying “if you are not for them, then you are a criminal” – which in the case of many public bodies, including the Vermilion County Board at the time, was the case with the illegal gifting of the public real estate without any compensation to the taxpayers. The COD Foundation Attorney failed to share that little tidbit during his temper tantrum. The Illinois Supreme Court sees it as illegal, but somehow in Vermilion County, it is not (according to ASA Donahue and his “opinion”).