College of DuPage – Board Examiner finds 49 signatures that should be stricken; validates only 37.

DuPage Co. (ECWd)

The College of DuPage Electoral Board requested a Board Examiner to review signatures on petitions objected to, that were submitted by candidate Husna T. Ghani.

The examiners’ findings appear to be very clear and convincing.

“That in the opinion of the Examiner forty-nine (49) of those signatures should be stricken for the reason set forth on Exhibit A and the corresponding Objections.”

“That in the opinion of the Examiner the Petition sheets contain thirty-seven (37) valid signatures.”

The next hearing on this matter is scheduled for Tuesday of this week, January 17, 2016, at 1 pm.

The full report can be viewed below.

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College of DuPage – Candidate admits photo-copying petitions-blames COD for her failure to comply with law

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

In a rather interesting attempt to cast blame for noncompliance of specific election records, Rafath Waheed blamed COD citing, obfuscation of the electoral process” on the part of COD as it relates to her not filing a statement of candidacy. You can see that statement at the 48:40 mark of this video.  For those not familiar with the meaning of the word obfuscation; “the action of making something obscure, unclear, or unintelligible.” 

It should be noted that the College of DuPage had nothing to do with making the electoral process nor is it their duty to provide guidance and direction on such matters.   The guidance and direction come from the law, established by the legislature.  The fact that this person chose to blame COD for failing to comply with the law is yet another reason she has no business as a public official.

In addition to blaming the school for her non-compliance, she admitted under oath to being the one who copied petitions and then signed them and had them notarized affirming they were original signatures, which they were not, just as we said in our first article on this.

57:25 of the video is where the information comes to light regarding the copies of petitions being submitted.  The candidate first claims she DID not photocopy them and then when questioned further admits she did and that no one else was given her papers.

Candidate“They are the carbon copy of that, but did I do it?  “NO, it happen by mistake.”

Electoral Board“Did you make the carbon copy or did someone make it for you”

Candidate“I made it myself, I didn’t give any of my paper to anybody.”

So, on one hand, she denies making copies of the petitions and then does an 180-degree turn and admits she made them

What is disturbing with this situation is the fact this person, under oath, has admitted to photocopying petition sheets.  Sheets that were then separately notarized under oath and affirmation as originals.

After about 30 minutes of hearing this person create excuses and eventually admitting to things she did, made copies of signatures and turned them in, she reads a prepared statement which was her withdrawal from the race. You can watch that starting at the 1:19:04 mark of the video.

Was this whole event staged in an attempt to claim this was an attack on Muslims?  Let’s not forget the claim by one of the Democrats during public comment being an insinuation the objections were based on religion.  How ironic, both of the candidates being objected to have the most basic of items deficient in their papers.  Two candidates that in one case claims to be an Administrator and the other has an MBA and Masters in Education.  How do such educated people make these kinds of mistakes? Or was this well planned out for a much different purpose? Time will tell.

Now we will have to wait and see how the COD Electoral Board handles this matter as it is clear this person provided documents, signed under oath, that were in violation of the law.  We encourage them to turn this matter over to the authorities for a criminal investigation.  We can only pray the State’s Attorney upholds and enforces our election laws as it relates and prosecutes those who are found to have committed fraud and or forgery in that process.

 

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College of DuPage – Candidate cites Social Justice Journal to support her legal position

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

During the petition objection hearing last Tuesday at the College of DuPage, the Electoral Board offered one of the candidates and opposing counsel the opportunity to prepare a legal brief that would point to case law on the matter before the board.  Specifically, the board is addressing the petitions filed by Husna Ghani and the lack of page numbers on her petitions.

It appears Ms. Ghani was not in the same hearing as I was.  In her response to the board’s request, she states certain things that did not take place during the hearing and instead of providing legal cases to support her position that not numbering her petition pages is not a fatal error, she cites language from a Social Justice Journal.

“The argument by the Objector states again that the candidate did not specify the term of candidacy for which the elected board term of the office was sought. At the hearing on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, this objection was in fact overruled because the original receipt stating the name of the office sought and the two year term was given by the office of the Electoral Board and was presented to the Electoral Board at the hearing and was duly noted and accepted by all parties.”

A review of the video from that meeting reflects, contrary to her claim of fact, nothing was overruled.  It appears she is taking the position that since the board was presented something and placed the information into the record, doing so constitutes an acceptance of her position and a silent overruling of the objection presented.

“A reasonable person will agree that failing to number an eight page document does not compromise the integrity of this election. As argued in the DePaul Journal of Social Justice, Spring 2013″

I read the document she points to and no such statement is argued but don’t take my word, read it for yourself Word search it and you will find very quickly that what this candidate has done is draw a conclusion from an agency’s opinion.  In addition, her comment implies that our higher courts are not reasonable people since they have ruled contrary to her position.  That is troubling for a person wanting to lead a higher education institution.

I am not sure what a Social Justice Journal has to do with case law but rest assured, the higher courts have been consistent and reasonable on the matter of page numbering.  More importantly, what she refers to as a DePaul Journal of Social Justice argument, turns out it is not even written by the DePaul Journal of Social Justice.   They published a paper written by the Citizens Advocacy Center and you can view that document, as published in the DePaul Journal of Social Justice, Spring 2013 at this link.

Even more disturbing is a statement in the document she refers to; “As quasi-judicial bodies, electoral boards have the authority to hear sworn witnesses, formally accept evidence, issue subpoenas, and render decisions based on law and fact.” (see page 6)

Illinois law is clear on quasi-judicial bodies and an electoral board is not one.  As outlined in the open meetings act; “Quasi-adjudicative body” means an administrative body charged by law or ordinance with the responsibility to conduct hearings, receive evidence or testimony and make determinations based thereon, but does not include local electoral boards when such bodies are considering petition challenges.”

May we suggest searching case law and election law to make your argument as it appears the Social Justice Journal contains outdated material when it comes to electoral boards

“However, in the hearing on Tuesday, January 10, 2017, the Objector was allowed to edit paperwork that was already previously submitted.”

The objector pointed out scrivener’s error in the filing and the board took note of that error.  At no time during the hearing that we attended did we see, nor did the video capture, the objector being allowed to edit paperwork.

“The two-year term seat is being sought by two individuals. If one name is withdrawn, due to a technical oversight, then there would only be one person running for that office. In this case, it would not be a true “running for office” but instead would be an uncontested election. Therefore this would result in an automatic placement without the procedural of a true democratic process.”

She refers to her fatal errors, not numbering her pages and not identifying the term of office she is seeking, as a technical oversight. May we suggest she read her Social Justic Journal again?

“The signature sheets must be bound securely and numbered consecutively.” (See page 12)

“Some of the provisions in the Election Code have been interpreted to be clear requirements for which wholesale disregard will defeat a nomination or petition for referendum.” (See page 18)

The courts have deemed not numbering ANY pages a fatal error, not a technical oversight.  She also implies that if an elected position is not contested it somehow means the person who is on the ballot is not actually “running for office”.  She then implies such an uncontested seat is obtained without the “procedural of a true democratic process”.  

We suggest Ms. Ghani read our Federalist papers, our Constitution, Illinois Election Law, and case law on the subject at hand.  Doing so will provide a wealth of knowledge about this great country which is a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy.

She closes her 4-page letter with an interesting statement in the last paragraph;

“Therefore I humbly request that you consider these facts when rendering your decision.”

Facts? I’m not sure what “facts” she is referring to but a few things are clear, she did not provide the case law sought by the Electoral Board.

During this particular hearing a local democrat raised the question as to why the only objections were those of two Muslim women and insinuated there was a lack of transparency at the College of DuPage. (See 13:24 mark of the video)  Not sure what transparency has to do with members of their party getting on the ballot but it does lead me to a question of my own.

How is it that the Democrats managed to gather enough signatures for a white male, Dan Markwell, but not enough for the two Muslim women?  DuPage Democrat Chair Robert Peickert notarized all of the petitions for Ghani and apparently provided no input on the importance of her numbering her pages.  The other candidate who withdrew claimed to have the assistance of a Democrat County Board member.  May I suggest these people look within for their failings as it relates to proper election documents instead of trying to insinuate the objections were based on religion.

I reviewed all of the petitions turned in and although I found errors with others, I only wrote about those that had fatal errors.  I had no clue what their religion was as that is not listed on any of the documents, nor does it matter!

Below is the full response candidate Ghani has submitted regarding her petitions and the objections to them.

Download (PDF, 528KB)

 

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College of DuPage – 2nd Petition Objector Confirmed

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

Lori Solyom of Lombard, Illinois, has filed petition objections at the College of DuPage against the same two candidates as the first objector we reported on in this story. 

It appears the same issues have been objected to as the previous objector, and all indications are candidate Waheed may want to get a good defense attorney as those records are extremely troubling and potentially evidence to a crime.

As I quoted before, “when in the course of hearing objections to nominating papers, evidence beyond specific objections comes to the electoral board’s attention, it cannot close its eyes and ears if evidence is relevant to the protection of the electoral process.” See Fortas v. Dixon, 122 Ill.App.3d 697, 462 N.E.2d 615, 78 Ill.Dec. 496 (1st Dist. 1984), at 618.

I encourage the College of DuPage Electoral Board to turn the Waheed candidate documents over to the State’s Attorney’s office for potential prosecution.

All that aside, it is troubling to see people attempt to become Trustees of a higher education system while they are unable to follow the most basic instructions required by law.  These are not the types of people that need to be leading our schools in my opinion.

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Two College of DuPage Trustee Candidate Petitions Challenged –

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

Husna Ghani and Rafath Waheed turned in petition packets for election to the Board of Trustees at the College of DuPage, however, both have had objections filed against them due to alleged fatal errors.  Those errors may subject them to removal from the ballot in a petition objection hearing.

Ed Franckowiak, of West Chicago, filed petition objections today and his findings outlined in his objection pertaining to Rafath Waheed may point to possible forgery.

Rafath Waheed turned in petitions with what appears to be photocopied petition documents (duplicates) that were sworn to separately and notarized.  In addition to those documents, Waheed failed to provide a Statement of Candidacy.

Husna Ghani failed to number the petition pages which constitutes a fatal error.

The packets turned in by Waheed and Ghani can be viewed here and here respectively.  When reviewing the petition documents of Waheed, we suggest you print pages 1-4 and hold page 4 in front of page 1 up to the light as well as page 3 in front of page 2.  It will become very clear that one is a copy of another with the exception of the lower portion.

What makes this a potentially a serious issue is the fact the portion below is being signed and sworn to that the signatures on the sheet were signed in their presence.  How is it possible to have a photocopied petition and claim you were present when those people signed?  Even more compelling evidence that these pages were photocopied and do not contain actual signatures is the fact page 3 has signatures done in Blue ink yet page 2, which contains an exact matching set of signatures as page 3, except they are in black and white.  The two pages appear to be two pages of signatures, however, are alleged to be photocopies of signed pages.

Is this potentially a case of forgery?

Sec. 17-3. Forgery.

    (a) A person commits forgery when, with intent to defraud, he or she knowingly:

      (1) makes a false document or alters any document to make it false and that document is apparently capable of defrauding another; or

       (2) issues or delivers such document knowing it to have been thus made or altered; or

        (3) possesses, with intent to issue or deliver, any such document knowing it to have been thus made or altered; or

        (4) unlawfully uses the digital signature, as defined in the Financial Institutions Electronic Documents and Digital Signature Act, of another; or

        (5) unlawfully uses the signature device of another to create an electronic signature of that other person, as those terms are defined in the Electronic Commerce Security Act.

Although the Election Hearing Board that is now triggered by the filing of an objection does not have the power to determine any potential criminality, we would encourage them to forward the records to the appropriate criminal investigative unit to further investigate this matter should they determine these are as we described above.  As pointed out in the objection: “when in the course of hearing objections to nominating papers, evidence beyond specific objections comes to the electoral board’s attention, it cannot close its eyes and ears if evidence is relevant to the protection of the electoral process.” See Fortas v. Dixon, 122 Ill.App.3d 697, 462 N.E.2d 615, 78 Ill.Dec. 496 (1st Dist. 1984), at 618.

We want to say thank you to Mr.  Franckowiak for his efforts of ensuring potential elected officials follow the law, which in this case appear to have not followed the election code as it pertains to their election packets turned in as Candidate(s) for College of DuPage Trustee.

You can review copies of the two objections filed by Franckowiak below.

Download (PDF, 115KB)

Download (PDF, 5.15MB)

 

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Video: WAND’s Doug Wolfe Reports On Citizen Watchdogs –

DECATUR, IL. (ECWd) –

WAND  I-TEAM Reporter, Doug Wolfe:

“As newspapers struggle to survive many no longer keep an eye on tax dollars and government corruption. Citizen watchdog groups, like the Edgar County Watchdogs, fill the void.”

Reporter: Doug Wolfe Aired: November 3, 2016. WAND TV – NBC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeKTUtwLKx0&feature=youtu.be

The WAND noon news report for 11-4-2016 is located (here).




College of DuPage – $388,834.98 – Money well spent!

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

Reform is never easy nor as costly as some wanted to make people believe. The College of DuPage has been the centerpiece in the news cycles of the Chicago Suburbs for almost two years.  Finally, the released Performance Audit has validated many of the concerns raised by us and others and the behind the scenes documents are proving to be most interesting.

Of particular interest is the tally of time and cost associated with conducting the audit, which in April of 2015 the Reform Board approved the Performance Audit to be conducted.  During that meeting, Trustee Birt opined that she was told the cost could hit $850,000.00.   Trustee McGuire expressed concern of it hitting $400,000.00.

Trustee Burnstien’s comments during that meeting were almost spot on with his assessment that the expanded scope of the audit would not double the cited cost of $235,000.00.  I suggested the adding of two more years to the scope may increase that 50%. He only missed his mark by $36,000.  A clear indicator of his wisdom and business acumen on such matters, a value needed to reform this institution.

Turns out, as if anyone is surprised, Birt and McGuire were both wrong. The actual cost was $388,834.98 consisting of 6,535.3 hrs of work.  (See page 5 of 6 for the totals)

As the Reform board continues to make great strides towards reform and work towards being removed from the Probation status by the Higher Learning Commission, the legacy board continues to ignore facts laid out in the audit report.

Although there are still many issues to be resolved, such as issues with the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy and the State Law Enforcement Training Standards Board failure to ever approving a SLEA Director, progress is being made.

Stay tuned for a rolling production of articles on COD and the Reform efforts.

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College of DuPage Trustee McGuire Agrees With Watchdogs –

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

In April of 2015, taxpayers sent a clear message to the legacy trustees at the College of DuPage.  One trustee, in particular, Dianne McGuire has once again shown the world that she has no interest in reforming the problems at the College of DuPage.  The fact of the matter is she may well be the biggest contributor to the challenges the clean slate reformers face in their efforts of fixing what is broken and ensuring Accreditation is recovered.

It is now clear; McGuire has one interest.  Take a position that is opposite of anything that is even remotely close to reform.  Grandstanding, dramatizing, and fabricating are the hallmarks of McGuire and we have clear evidence on video that we hope the HLC board will pay attention to as it is clear, McGuire is one of the primary problems with reforms at COD.

In November of 2014, we wrote about McGuire’s insistence that the College President was the ONLY employee the board of trustees had and can be found in this article. In that article, we took the position that all employees of the college were employees of the board, according to state law.

Then, in November of 2015, a year later, she confirms her position that the only employee of the board is the President, as was being described by then Interim President Collins.  McGuire is seen nodding like a bobble head doll in agreement with Collin’s disregard for the law by claiming the only employee the Board has is the President. You can view the bobble head in action beginning at the 2:03:45 mark of the video found at this link.  Clearly, she is in full agreement with Collins that the only employee of the board is the president, even though the law says otherwise.

These two examples provided are from McGuire pulling out all the stops in order to protect, defend, and justify the wrong doing of then President Breuder, and his administration, and fight against any reforms being attempted by the clean slate trustees, now known as the Reform Board. Her position is clear; the Board only has one employee!

After the Auditor General Audit of the College is released, one of the findings, in particular, was how the bidding of contracts was being handled.  Specifically, the auditor stated in the report, “We could not determine if bids were opened by a member or employee of the Board as required by the Illinois Public Community College Act.”

Remember, Dianne McGuire logic from 2014 and 2015 was that the board only has one employee, the President!

Keeping in mind McGuire has been against the Performance Audit from day one and is on the record the board only has one employee, what do you suppose her position is after the Auditor suggestion that COD Document the bidding process and ensuring a Board member or Board employee opens bids publicly?

In true McGuire drama fashion, in a clear effort to minimize the importance of the audit and discredit the findings, she now is taking the position that every employee of the college is an employee of the Board. This is a perfect example why reforms are so difficult.  When a trustee who is on a mission to discredit reforms at every turn by taking positions contrary to law and reform efforts and then takes a position 180 degrees out from her previous position in an attempt to find fault in the reformers initiated performance audit,  it becomes clear, McGuire is not about doing what is right for the College.

It is interesting and flattering that Diane McGuire has now taken the very same position that we took in 2014, our position remains the same.

Does this mean the Watchdogs are starting to reform Dianne McGuire?

 

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Lawsuit against COD attorneys brought by Erin Birt, Dianne McGuire, and Joe Wozniak has been Dismissed

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

In January of this year, we reported, as did the Chicago Tribune and Daily Herald, three College of DuPage (COD) Trustees filed a lawsuit against COD’s law firms seeking records applicable to COD related work.

At the time it was big news locally because of the boycotting of meetings by those who filed the suit.

Here we are nine months later, and I could not find a single story on the status of that lawsuit, so what was newsworthy before the primary is no longer newsworthy?  One can only wonder if this was an attempt to bring negative press for a particular county board candidate that happens to represent COD.  If so, it failed on multiple fronts.

The case was dismissed with prejudice September 15, 2016.  I guess those three trustees are not having a good month as not only was their lawsuit dismissed with prejudice but they now must face the music of the scathing Auditor General audit of COD that points out a laundry list of failings by the past Board and Administration.

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Auditor General Report on College of DuPage Released – WOW!

DuPage Co. (ECWd)-

The Auditor General has posted the Performance Audit performed at the College of DuPage that followed the actions taken by the new board in order to identify the failings of past President Robert Brueder and his Administration.

We will review the information and follow up with multiple articles in the near future but rest assured, a quick review validates what we have been pointing out for over two years.

You can review it below or download it.

Download (PDF, 6.05MB)

 




ICCB – Community Colleges to lose accreditation? Really?

Illinois (ECWd) –

Once again, let me begin by stating, “you can’t make this stuff up!”

A recent board meeting of the Illinois Community College Board pointed to problems they are facing due to the States budget matters, and some of those concerns may affect community colleges in this state and students in a big way.

For those not familiar with who the ICCB is, they are the oversite board for all community colleges in this state.  The same ones who required financial reimbursements from the College of DuPage after issues with the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy landed them on probation with the Higher Learning Commission.

Now we find that the ICCB will only be doing “desk” monitoring, as in they will no longer be traveling to the campuses of our state’s Community colleges. I have to ask, how do you monitor your community colleges from a desk in an office?

They also note that they are low on paper, out of postage, and light bulbs!  I wonder, how do you “desk” monitor our community colleges without light bulbs?

I digress!  If they have no light bulbs does that mean they saved money on their electric bill?  Such savings can surely pay for the postage they may need.  Could the paper problem be resolved by borrowing from another state agency that is not doing their job either?

Wait, are we really talking about paper, light bulbs and postage?

These state budget problems could have a direct impact on the College of DuPage who is currently on the Higher Learning Commission probation status for their accreditation as well as other community colleges.

According to the ICCB, “The HLC will be conducting their accreditation visits to the community colleges, which is a very expensive visit incurred by the community colleges. The outcome will leave most of the colleges as non-accredited due to the lack of funding by the state.” 

We are working on finding out why any of these community colleges are going to lose their accreditation and will update as soon as we can find anyone to go on the record on this matter.

See page 2 and 3 of the ICCB minutes for the applicable matters discussed in this article.

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IMET Fallout Continues With Lawsuit Against USDA –

The Illinois Metropolitan Investment Fund ran into trouble a couple years ago when one of the funds they invested in fraudulently squandered the public funds. Initially, the estimate of recovery of funds was believed to be somewhere above 80%, but was later downgraded to 47.6% of the original value of the FFF investments in a February update.

IMET has only recovered around 5% of its losses incurred in this scheme so far.

In another twist, IMET and several banks filed suit on August 31, 2016, in Federal Court in Florida against the United States Department of Agriculture in an attempt at releasing the remainder of the funds. USDA says they did nothing wrong in their part of approving the applications in the process.

The alleged fraud involved phony loan documents, forged documents, fake USDA approval stamps, borrowers that did not exist, and others.

This suit complains of alleged:

  • Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program losses and that the USDA’s approval of a lender constituted a stamp of government approval making its purchase an attractive investment backed by the United States Government
  • First Farmer’s Financial (FFF) filed an application for USDA approval, but prior to filing developed a scheme to sell interest in fictitious government guaranteed loans – in short, they wanted the USDA approval to gain access to the market in order to sell fictitious loans
  • FFF sent false statements as part of their application and the USDA failed to investigate the accuracy of the statements
  • USDA approved the application without investigating and following its own regulations in the approval process
  • The total from plaintiff’s investments are $154,216,302.15 ( 154.2 million dollars )
  • After investing, it was learned that the collateralized loan guarantees were forged and none of the borrowers actually existed. They also learned the CPA who supposedly performed the audit did not exist
  • USDA’s negligence resulted in plaintiff’s investments into the forged loans

Plaintiffs are seeking recovery of all their funds, including interest and fees/costs from the United States Government.

.

Download (PDF, 488KB)

Other docs if you are interested in reading them include:




Cook County Record Reports On Our Appeal Of CPA Denial –

Cook County, IL. (ECWd) –

‘Watchdogs’ appeal DuPage judge’s OK of lawsuit over reporting of alleged ‘pay to play’ for COD contract

Jonathan Bilyk Aug. 31, 2016, 4:14pm


Journalists who help chronicle and expose corruption in Illinois governments have asked a state appeals court to step in, after a DuPage County judge refused to dismiss a $16 million defamation lawsuit brought by a woman who claims the men known as the Edgar County Watchdogs wrongly accused her of committing a crime when they wrote she engaged in “pay to play” and used an improper exemption to secure a no-bid contract from the College of DuPage – awarded the same day she joined the college’s fundraising foundation board.

Kirk Allen and his non-profit news organization, Edgar County Watchdogs Inc., have filed a petition with the Illinois Second District Appellate Court in Elgin, asking justices to toss the decision of DuPage County Circuit Judge Robert G. Kleeman, who denied their motion to dismiss the legal action brought against the Watchdogs by plaintiffs Carla Burkhart and her company, Herricane Graphics Inc., of west suburban West Chicago.

Continue reading at the Cook County Record (click here).

 




Ball Petitions to Appeal Denial of CPA Motion in Burkhart v. ECWI et al –

DuPage County, IL. (ECWd) –

Defendant Claire Ball has Petitioned the 2nd Appellate Court for leave to appeal pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court  Rule 306(a)(9) – from an order of the circuit court denying a motion to dispose under the Citizen Participation Act (735 ILCS 110/1 et seq.)“.

The petition comes from the final order of the circuit court denying a motion to dispose of the suit under the Citizen Participation Act (“CPA”).

In the Petition, she asked for a granting of the petition, to be allowed to file a brief in support of it, reverse the Circuit Court’s denial of the CPA, require the Circuit Court to grant her motion under the CPA, and other relief as justly entitled.

Read the petitions below:

Download (PDF, 4.71MB)




Andrzejewski Petitions to Appeal Denial of CPA Motion in Burkhart v. ECWI et al –

DuPage County, IL. (ECWd) –

Adam Andrzejewski has Petitioned the 2nd Appellate Court for leave to appeal pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court  Rule 306(a)(9) – from an order of the circuit court denying a motion to dispose under the Citizen Participation Act (735 ILCS 110/1 et seq.)“.

The petition comes from the final order of the circuit court denying a motion to dispose of the suit under the Citizen Participation Act (“CPA”).

In the Petition, he asked for a granting of the petition, to be allowed to file a brief in support of it, reverse the Circuit Court’s denial of the CPA, and other relief as justly entitled.

Read the petition(s) below:

Download (PDF, 1.65MB)

Download (PDF, 10.5MB)




Watchdogs Petition to Appeal Denial of CPA Motion in Burkhart v. ECWI et al –

DuPage County, IL. (ECWd) –

The Edgar County Watchdogs have Petitioned the 2nd Appellate Court for leave to appeal pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court  Rule 306(a)(9) – from an order of the circuit court denying a motion to dispose under the Citizen Participation Act (735 ILCS 110/1 et seq.)“.

The petition comes from the final order of the circuit court denying a motion to dispose of the suit under the Citizen Participation Act (“CPA”).

In the Petition, we asked for a granting of the petition, to be allowed to file a brief in support of it, reverse the Circuit Court, and require the Circuit Court to grant our CPA Motion.

Read the petition below:

Download (PDF, 5.95MB)




Press Release – State Representative David Olsen

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

Below is the Press Release issued by State Representative David Olsen.

Download (PDF, 17KB)

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State Representative David Olsen – It’s official

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

David Olsen of Downers Grove has been officially appointed to the vacant State Representative seat for the 81st District. Congratulations Representative Olsen.  That selection was determined today by DuPage County Chairman Brian Krajewski and Will County Chairman Kathy Havel.

Olsen is a Downers Grove Village Council member who was elected in 2013.  He was named as Mayor Pro Tem in 2015.  He was recently appointed to fill the vacancy at the College of DuPage left by the resignation of reformer trustee Kathy Hamilton.  A more detailed bio on Representative Olsen can be viewed at the Downers Grove website at  this link.

We understand he will resign his post at Downers Grove, however, will finish out his term at COD, which ends in April of 2017.

We hope that Mr. Olsen is able to inspire others in Springfield with his enthusiasm and commitment to representing the taxpayers of this state and bring change to the politics of corruption this state has become so familiar with.

In the event, he issues a press release we will publish it once we receive it.

UPDATE:

DuPage GOP issues Press Release on David Olsen Appointment.

Download (PDF, 107KB)

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Watchdogs and Co-Defendants prevail in Motions to Dismiss –

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

Today, DuPage County Judge Kleeman ruled on the standard 619 Motions to Dismiss the lawsuits brought by Carla Burkhart and Herricane Graphics against the Edgar County Watchdogs, Kirk Allen, Clair Ball, and Adam Andrzejewski.  The initial reporting on the lawsuit can be found in this article. 

The judge granted the Motions to Dismiss across the board on the standard 619 Motions to Dismiss and provided Plaintiff 35 days to file a new complaint should they choose to do so.   He denied the Citizen Participation Act motions to dismiss which would have awarded us and the other Defendants our costs and attorney fees.

Overall it was a great day for justice.

Below are the various filings in the case.  When we get the filings for Adam Andrzejewski we will include them below.

 

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Gov. Rauner signs Local Government Travel Expense Control Act –

SPRINGFIELD, IL. (ECWd) –

Today, Governor Rauner signed the Local Government Travel Expense Control Act (read it here) which is meant to scale back on the lavish expenses incurred by public officials under the guise of “official business”.

The LGTECA requires school districts, community college districts, and all non-home rule units of local government to provide by resolution or ordinance, the regulation of all travel, meal, and lodging expenses of officers and employees.

It also requires setting a minimum standard for documentation of expenses, and the maximum allowable reimbursement for travel, meal, and lodging. It places all travel documents as public records subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

The Act also prohibits all approvals or payments for travel, meal, and lodging made on and after 180 days of the effective date of the Act unless a resolution or ordinance has been adopted.

Prohibits entertainment expenses.

We applaud the formation of the Local Government Travel Expense Control Act as a common sense measure that had unanimous approval in both the House and Senate.

Rep. David McSweeney was the Chief Sponsor in the House and Sen. Thomas Cullerton Chief Senate Sponsor.

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College of DuPage – Was Breuder FOIA violation felony record concealment?

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

I would first like to begin with pointing out how much we appreciate the new leadership and their legal counsel at the College of DuPage.  Had it not been for them, this article may have never been written and we believe this one supports our allegation that former President Breuder and members of his Administration should be facing felony record concealment.

In 2014 I filed a Freedom of Information Act request to COD for all payments and membership documents pertaining to Breuder’s membership to Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation.   The attorney at the time was Ken Florey, who’s response failed to include the whole truth to the Attorney General Public Access Counselor (AGPAC), pertaining to the requested records.  It was clear certain records were not provided.

Today I received an additional response COD has provided to the AGPAC

Secondly, the facts laid out in the recent response proves COD, under the control of the past board and Robert Breuder, concealed public records that should have been provided under my FOIA request.

“The College has other Max McGraw-related records of dues paid and invoices from 2013 that were not produced in response to the July 11th FOIA request, but which have subsequently been produced in response to other FOIA requests. Jill Mosher, the College’s Supervisor of Accounts Payable, ran a search for records responsive to the July 11th FOIA request, attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit 2, and Ms. Mosher sent those 29 pages of records to Ms. Mitchell. (Id., Ex. C thereto) Those records included a request for a check payable to Max McGraw in the amount of $2,500 for fiscal year 2013 membership dues and a purchase order for the $2,500 membership dues owed for fiscal year 2013. Those records were not produced to Mr. Allen.

“Ms. Mosher sent Ms. Mitchell 29 pages of documents.”

“Ms. Mitchell received Ms. Mosher’s July 17, 2014 email along with all 29 pages of attachments.”

“She forwarded the email she received from Ms. Mosher along with the 29 pages of records attached to that email to Monica Miller, secretary for the College’s then-President Dr. Robert Breuder.”

“At present, neither Ms. Miller nor Ms. Mitchell can recall any specific communications following the sending of that email. However, later that day, Ms. Mitchell forwarded 15 pages of redacted documents to the College’s outside counsel for review. Ms. Mitchell did not provide all 29 pages to outside counsel. Instead, she only forwarded 15 pages. Thus, 14 pages of documents were not forwarded to the College’s outside counsel.”

“At this time, Ms. Mitchell does not believe she was the one who culled the number of documents down from 29 to 15.”

“Dr. Breuder is no longer employed by the College and was not interviewed as part of this response. At this time, the College takes no position regarding the identity of the person(s) who made the decision(s) to withhold any or all of 14 documents.”

We once again ask the FBI and the State’s Attorney to investigate this matter as a case of record concealment and we believe the paper trail points to Breuder as the one who culled the records from disclosure.

Not convinced this was a case of record concealment?

“Documents responsive to part 3 of the July 11th FOIA request were likely to be kept by the Office of the President because President Breuder held the Max McGraw membership. As such, before July 25, 2014, Ms. Mitchell called the President’s Office and asked for any Max McGraw membership documents. The President’s Office informed her that it did not have Max McGraw membership documents. As a result of litigation subsequently filed by the Chicago Tribune, the College learned that the President’s Office did, in fact, have Max McGraw membership documents. Such membership documents were subsequently produced to the Chicago Tribune and Mr. Allen in the summer of 2015.”

Only after litigation filed by the Chicago Tribune did we learn that the President’s Office did, in fact, have Max McGraw membership documents, contrary to his previous claim he did not.  Those records were clearly concealed from me!

We ask that each and every applicable law enforcement entity and prosecutor enforce the law on these people and set the example to the rest of the people in this state.  Violate FOIA  by concealing records and you will be prosecuted!  That is the message that needs to be sent if there is ever going to be any hope of fixing this problem that is, in fact, statewide.

You can review the current COD legal response here:

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DuPage County – Political dynasty crumbling?

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

“They are a large, Irish-Catholic political family known for pooling their talents to win campaigns they’re not expected to”, says the Chicago Tribune referring to the Cronin family in this article.   As far as talent in winning campaigns, one could argue that ability may be crumbling as the last two county board seats Chairman Cronin was banking to win were lost by a substantial margin in most people’s eyes.  We also suspect any potential future victories for himself may fall short based on the treasure trove of information now available at the people’s fingertips.

The Tribune article claims the Cronin family is used to being compared to the Kennedy’s.   Comparing Dan Cronin to Kennedy does have some validity.  I think most would agree the common link is playing the taxpayer for the fool and capitalizing on the people’s laziness when it comes to holding them accountable.

In order to hold public officials accountable, you must first know the truth.  You start by putting all the pieces of a puzzle together to better see the real picture. The challenge in putting together political puzzles is being able to actually find all the puzzle pieces as they have become masters at hiding them.

We have spent over two years exposing malfeasance at the College of DuPage and have done our best to follow up on every tip we received.  One of the interesting tips we received dealt with Dan Cronin, current DuPage County Board Chairman.  The tip was that COD hired him to do workers compensation claims on behalf of the college.  We first covered this matter in this article, which confirmed he was in fact doing legal work on behalf of the college, but we still had some loose ends. I think we now have those last puzzle pieces to see the real picture and better understand how things operate in DuPage County.

As earlier reported, we did seek a comment from Chairman Cronin regarding his representation of the college on workman’s compensation claims which can be viewed in this article.  Please note he never truly answered our question but did confirm, his law firm has represented the consortium since 2008″. The response, knowing what we know now, was nothing short of political duck and cover. Cronin’s response no longer passes the smell test.

The  COD Board of Trustees recently voted to release a large volume of closed session minutes.  Currently available are minutes between February of 2000 and August of 2009.  That is a lot of reading to do and so far, it’s clear those running COD had no problem violating the Open Meetings Act and taking action in closed session on a litany of matters.

I digress.  What does all this have to do with Dan Cronin? 

According to COD public records, Cronin’s law firm was in fact hired by a vote of the majority of the Board during closed session.

The Board discussed the appointment of a law firm, Power & Cronin, Ltd. of Oak Brook to handle Workers’ Compensation claims. In a straw vote, Whitten stated she was unsure about making this change; Nowak wishes to stay with one law firm; the majority of the Board agreed to proceed with Power & Cronin.” (Closed session minutes now public)

This being the case one must ask, how did the board come to any knowledge that Power & Cronin was even seeking this business?  Who put their name in the hat for such hiring?  Cronin confirmed he started handling COD work in 2008 but failed to give any insight as to how that all went down, conveniently?  His response led us to believe COD had nothing to do with it and it was all the insurance company.  I think now we can say, based on his response, there is a whole lot more to this story.

Clearly, the board voted in closed session to proceed with Power & Cronin.  Clearly, that happened, as his firm started representing COD in 2008.  How convenient that Power & Cronin is named in a closed session setting to be hired with no mention of any other possible entities.  Based on the record, two trustees, Whitten and Nowak, were not sure about making this change and in fact Nowak wanted to stay with one firm but makes no reference as to who was handling those cases at this time.

Of interest in this new development is the fact there was no action taken in a public setting for the hiring of Power & Cronin, yet we know in fact he was hired after the board voted in closed session to hire him.  Why was this not done in open session?  Why no RFP for the position.  Who orchestrated the plan to have the insurance company hire him on behalf of COD?  Was it done this way so that no direct financial paper trail pointed back to this political figure-head of Dupage County?

Of interest in this matter are DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin’s inaction and action on similar matters.  In one case, Berlin advised that he would not take action on an OMA violation by COD because the board’s action occurred during an open, rather than a closed meeting (Dupage County State’s Attorney- see page 2).

However, Berlin did prosecute the OMA violations from 2014 stating in the complaint, “the showing of hands was nevertheless a vote resulting in a “final action” within the meaning of the Open Meetings Act since the BOARD OF TRUSTEES did not subsequently repeat the vote in an open session. Because the BOARD OF TRUSTEES took final action in closed session, it violated Section 2(e) of the Act.”

In the case of Power & Cronin, a “straw vote” was taken and the majority of the board agreed to proceed with the hiring of Power & Cronin. There was no subsequent repeat vote in open session in this case and Power & Cronin was in fact hired by the COD paid insurance company, so shouldn’t the same standard apply?  What was called a straw vote, an unofficial vote, was,in fact an official vote as the contemplated action happened without any public vote on the matter.

Now that the records reflect action was taken in closed session yet again by COD officials, we ask that DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin once again prosecute COD for Open Meetings Act violations and invalidate the very action taken, the hiring of Power & Cronin.

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College of DuPage – Breuder’s Human Rights Complaint Dismissed – Part II

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

It is amazing to see how fast a person goes from insinuations he would have to start out as a 5-Star General if he went into the military, to a sniveling has been, claiming his human rights have been violated after he is exposed and terminated.    We first covered his Human Rights complaint in this story, which was dismissed.  He still has time to appeal but there is more to the story that needs to be shared.

Reading the most recent information provided by the Illinois Department of Human Rights it became clear that games were being played with the wording of his discrimination claims, and we pointed out several of those in the previous article.  One that is truly laughable is the following from exhibit 1, page 35.

Allegation: On or about April 16, 2015, I advised Erin Birt, then Chairman of the College of DuPage Board of Trustees, about my Intention to take leave. She did not deny my request.

Response: COD admits that Breuder requested leave and that Chairman Birt did not deny the request. Responding further, COD avers that Chairman Birt also did not approve the request.

The response from COD is exactly what we pointed out in our first article.  It was just a matter of applying common sense to Breuder’s claim.  In addition, the following exchange on the same page also confirms you can’t take leave until it is first approved, just as we stated previously.

Allegation: Several months later, on August 3, 2015, I received a letter dated July 30, 2015, from Katharine Hamilton, the current Chairman of the College of DuPage Board of Trustees, “denying” my use of Respite Leave during my medical leave.  Actually, my Respite Leave began on July 29, 2015. 

Response: COD admits that the letter was sent to Breuder by Chairman Hamilton. The remaining allegations of this Paragraph are legal conclusions that require no response. Responding further, COD avers that Respite Leave could not “begin” until it was approved, which it was not.

Breduer claims he has been retaliated against on the basis of his disabilities- anxiety and severe depression, which were diagnosed in March 2015.  He also claims those disabilities were brought on by the hostile actions of COD’s Board of Trustees.

One can only wonder how the previous COD Board of Trustees are responsible for his anxiety and depression.  How does illegally voting in closed session to basically pad Breuder’s pocket and then vote to give him a Three Quarter of a Million Dollar payout cause anxiety and severe depression?

I suspect if the truth were known, the “5-Star General” who got kicked out of his kingdom after being exposed for all the illegal spending taking place at that college is what lead to the depression.  The anxiety, we suspect, comes from not knowing when the FBI/US Attorneys/State’s Attorney/US Department of Education are going to start prosecuting those responsible for all the illegal activity that took place at the College of DuPage.

You can read the entire case file provided by the Illinois Department of Human Rights below.  It is in two parts.

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College of DuPage -Site of Breuder’s Trauma – Complaint Dismissed

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

Once again we must start by pointing out, “you can’t make this stuff up!”

Robert Breuder, former College of DuPage President who had been the center of numerous scandals that rocked COD since the fall of 2014,  filed a formal complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights citing discrimination based on his disabilities.

In the complaint, he alleged COD failed to accommodate him on August 3, 2015, because of his disabilities when it revoked his respite and renewal leave. Although the documents we obtained from the Illinois Department of Human Rights do not list what those disabilities are, we do see that he cites the cause of them.

“Complainant stated that he was diagnosed with   (REDACTED)  in March 2015, brought on by the hostile actions of Respondent’s board of trustees.”

If that is the case then Breuder is attributing his medical disabilities to the past Board of Trustees under the leadership, if you can call it that, of Erin Birt. How interesting is that?

The documents reflect that his “condition is not minor and is not a permanent condition; however, the condition may be reactivated if Complainant returns to the site of the trauma.”

The site of the Trauma?

Yes, he is claiming that returning to the site of the trauma may reactivate his condition.  That being the case, we are pleased to see that Breuder’s medical disabilities will not be reactivated as there is no need or purpose for him to step foot back on the COD campus!  We are also pleased to see that he no longer suffers from those disabilities as pointed out by his claim of how they would be “reactivated” ?  Reactivation is an indication that it no longer is a disability, which means he is better now.

We are just as pleased to see that the IDHR has dismissed the complaint based on lack of substantial evidence.

As we understand this Administrative ruling, Breuder is afforded the chance to appeal this decision, however, considering he provided no response to the COD response to his allegations, we suspect this pathway of milking the taxpayers for more will come to a close.

It was interesting to see his actual complaint, which is filled with the typical games Breuder thought he was good at playing. Only tell enough to get what you want, not to represent the truth.

  • “I performed my job satisfactorily.”

I think the verdict is already back on that one.  With COD being placed on probation by the Higher Learning Commission for the SLEA scandal that proved they were unlawfully counting cadets as students, it is safe to say, NO, Mr. Breuder, you did not perform your job satisfactorily!

  • “In order to take the leave, I am required to “advise and seek the approval of the Board
    Chairman on or before April 30th preceding the Leave.”

Note the word he used, “approval”.  That means he has to have approval prior to taking the leave.

  • “On or about April 16, 2015, I advised Erin Birt, then Chairman of the College of DuPage
    Board of Trustees, about my intention to take leave. She did not deny my request.”

She did not deny your request, but she also did not approve it, because if she had you would have clearly told the IDHR that she had approved it.

  • “On or about April 29, 2015, I went on medical leave, including leave under the Family &
    Medical Leave Act, due to my disabilities”

So even after admitting the request was not denied, which clearly implies it was not approved, he takes leave anyway.  Another example of how this man does what he wants, the rule of law be damned.

  • “During the meeting, it was confirmed that my Respite Leave was available for my use during my medical leave. In fact, both women signed a calendar showing I was able to take Respite Leave as part of my medical leave.”

And of course, he once again fails to tell the whole story. “Igyarto stated that Complainant’s leave time needed to be approved by Respondent’s board of trustees and she had no authority to approve or deny his requested time off.”

  • “There are no provisions in the College or Board processes, rules, or procedures, or anything
    in my employment contract, stating that Ms. Hamilton or the College can deny me the use
    of the Respite Leave.”

And again, he is refusing to accept the fact he had no valid contract. However, for the sake of once again exposing his ignorance, we will assume he had a contract and use his own words to destroy his argument on this point.

He clearly stated in his complaint, “In order to take the leave, I am required to “advise and seek the approval of the Board Chairman on or before April 30th preceding the Leave.”  The fact you have to have leave approved before taking it would indicate to most people that taking it without such approval, which he did, is grounds for denying the leave requested.

Regardless, the IDHR  saw this complaint for what it was and dismissed it, which indicates once again his claims lack substantial evidence to be supported.  Considering this report  has been in the hands of the Trustees for some time I can only wonder why Diane McGuire has yet to leak it to the Daily Herald.  Is that because it proves she was on the wrong side of justice once again?

Only time will tell.

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DuPage County – Chairman Cronin’s ties to COD Foundation and COD legal representation

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

The College of DuPage has been under criminal investigations by the State’s Attorney and the FBI for over a year and a half for numerous issues relating to illegal spending and questionable contracts they had with COD Foundation Board Members and their businesses.

During our investigation into those matters, we saw numerous Foundation members flea from their positions.  One, in particular, was that of DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin.  As e-mails between Cronin’s Executive Secretary and former COD President Robert Breuder began to surface we saw concerns.

The first concern was why was his executive secretary handling COD Foundation business matters while employed by the County?  I sent the following to DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin:

“We have obtained numerous e-mails in which your executive secretary is taking care of your COD Foundation related matters to include handling the application documents.  These matters were handled with County owned equipment, with county personnel, and on county time.   Under what authority can a county employee handle private non-profit foundation work on behalf of the county chairman?  Do you consider that appropriate?

The response should concern anyone that believes our elected officials should be transparent with their actions while representing the people.   I asked two questions and neither were answered as is confirmed with his response below.

 “I was invited to join the COD Foundation as the County Board Chairman, not as a private citizen; the invitation was sent to my County Board Office.  COD is an important part of the County’s mission as it relates to education, workforce training, economic development and quality of life. It is an appropriate role for the County Board Chairman to advance the success of the College.  However, I ultimately declined the invitation to join the Foundation Board and stepped down.”

It appears Cronin is of the opinion that having his executive secretary handle COD Foundation work while being paid by the county to do county business is not an issue.  We disagree as the appointment to the Foundation was not as County Chairman as he claimed but was in fact as Dan Cronin, the individual. (For proof of that click here)

In addition, his claim that he ultimately declined the invitation to join the Foundation Board and stepped down has serious conflicts.  For starters, how do you step down from something you declined an invitation to?  More importantly, how do you vote on COD Foundation matters if you declined the invitation?

March of 2014 Cronin Voted “NO” on the naming of the Belushi Performance Hall after making a note in the email that John (Belushi) was a better actor and comedian. (Click here to read the email)

Then, 6 months later, he signs his Board member agreement and the confidentiality agreement as Dan Cronin, not County Board Chairman Cronin.  How does one vote on private foundation matters then 6 months later sign agreements as a member of the foundation all while now claiming to have declined the invitation to become a Foundation member? The fact is, the response we got from Mr. Cronin does not cross with the paper trail.

As a COD Foundation member, we wanted to know if Cronin was one of those special members that ended up with no bid business with COD.  We asked for any and all payments to Power & Cronin, and Cronin directly.  COD had no records.

Did Dan Cronin’s law firm represent the College of DuPage on any legal matters?  Our sources said yes, however, the paper trail was a dead end at every turn, until recently!

According to the State Workers Compensation Commission, Power & Cronin is, in fact, the attorney for the College of DuPage on several workers compensation cases. Three are listed here, here, and here.

Who knew DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin’s law firm was representing the interests of the College of DuPage?   

I sent the following to Cronin:

“We have in our possession information confirming Power & Cronin is the law firm as Defense council for the College of DuPage on workers comp matters.   Do you have any comment regarding your firm representing COD on workers comp matters?  Since it is your law firm listed and you are a partner, is it safe to say you do in fact make money with your firm representing COD as the Defense Counsel?

His response:

“The attorneys of the law firm have represented a wide variety of employers across the state of Illinois on matters of workers compensation for over 40 years.

Among those clients is a consortium of community colleges that pool their resources and contract with a third party administrator.

The law firm has represented the consortium since 2008.

The College of DuPage is a member of the consortium. The law firm has no contractual relationship with College of DuPage.

The College of DuPage is a separate unit of government and not a part of DuPage County government.”

We thank him for his comments, however, that response did not answer the question, which was, is it safe to say you do in fact make money with your firm representing COD as the Defense Counsel?

The fact is, during a two-year time frame between April 2013 and April 2015, Power and Cronin have handled numerous cases that reflect a total of $360,199.16 dollars in costs incurred by the Consortium that hired them. How much of those figures went to Power and Cronin is not known at this time.

You can see the Risk Management Consortium records here and note the Consortium does list Power & Cronin as the legal counsel representing the College of DuPage. Although Cronin may not have a contractual relationship on paper, as in an attorney-client agreement, it is clear by the paper trail from both the Risk Management Consortium and the Illinois State Workers Compensation Commission, his law firm does, in fact, represent the legal interest of College of DuPage.  How special is that!  Yet another COD Foundation Board member making money doing work on behalf of the College of DuPage.

Many will say what does it matter as he is not voting on the selection of the legal counsel, thus no conflict of interest.  I agree from a legal standpoint.  However, considering Cronin was, in fact, a COD Foundation member, contrary to his claim he declined the invitation, and that the paper trail points to him making money off of COD for legal services, he must be held to the same standard he holds others to. Is that asking too much?

I recall Cronin making issue with Tim Elliott being the legal counsel for COD in a campaign flyer sent out supporting Elliott’s opponent in a run for County Board.  His statement was not only a clear misrepresentation of the facts, it was an outright lie.

“Michelle’s opponent (Elliot) in this race is at the center of the strife, dysfunction, waste and escalating legal costs now paralyzing the College of DuPage.    (See flyer by clicking here)

Cronin takes issue with the legal costs at COD and claims those costs have paralyzed COD.  That claim was a lie.  COD has never been paralyzed by the legal costs. That should bring into question a matter of trust, as in, can you trust what we are told by DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin?

In addition, this flyer contained the most disturbing misrepresentation I think we have ever seen, and more than likely a misrepresentation crafted by Cronin:

Every Time You See Campaign Material From Tim Elliott – Remember, Your Property Taxes Helped Pay For It!”

Let’s apply that campaign quote by Michelle Moore to Dan Cronin, who just happen to have helped fund and endorsed Moore in her race for County Board.

  • Power & Cronin makes money off the Risk Management Consortium workers comp cases.
  • Taxpayer funds are used to pay the Risk Management Consortium
  • Power & Cronin provided funding for his “Citizens for Dan Cronin campaign”.
  • Cronin is making money as Chairman of the county Board to the tune of $126,450.00 in salary alone.  Add in all the other perks and it’s well over $150K that the property taxpayers of DuPage County put in Cronin’s pocket. 
  • Cronin enjoyed the free food and booze at the COD Waterleaf restaurant.
  • Cronin will enjoy a hefty state pension from his time as a Legislator.

 Can we safely say, “Every time you see campaign material from Dan Cronin – Remember, your property taxes helped pay for it!” ?

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College of DuPage – McGuire & Wozniak file fraudulent claims

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

Many will recall the numerous meetings College of DuPage Trustees McGuire, Wozniak, and Birt boycotted after former Chair Hamilton resigned.

Two of those meetings, 12/17/2015 and 1/7/2016 now appear on the expense reimbursement form for Trustee McGuire and Wozniak seeking mileage reimbursement for COD Board meetings.

Although the dollar figure is minimal, how is seeking reimbursement for expenses you never incurred legal?  We don’t believe it is.

We believe most would agree, seeking mileage for meeting attendance, of which they both boycotted, is a form of fraud on the College of DuPage.

If we can’t trust these two to be honest on their expense report we can’t trust them to run an institution of education.

And for the record, we have confirmed it was not either of the trustees who lined out the entry and annotated the fact they were not at the meeting.

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College of DuPage – McGuire clueless on 1st Amendment Rights, wants ban on public criticism –

DuPage Co. (ECWd)

Have we come to a point in this country where actual educators of our children don’t understand our Constitution and the Bill of Rights?  Diane McGuire appears to be one of those educators, as she claims to have been a teacher.  Now, as a Trustee for the College of DuPage, we find she fails to understand the most important right we as citizens have, our right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

A recent FOIA response has once again shown us the true colors of Diane McGuire and rest assured they are not Red, White, and Blue.  They are more along the lines of Red and Gold, as in hammer and sickle.  Fortunately, former attorney Res Vasquez provided her a legal opinion, but even with that, he failed to point to the very foundation as to why Diane McGuire can not restrict the people’s attack on her during public meetings.

The subject of the email stated: “Public Bodies cannot ban public comment criticism at public meetings”

Anyone who had a teacher worth a hoot should have been taught our First Amendment rights, however, the fact we have Diane McGuire, a senior citizen that you would think lived through the importance of that right, appears to not understand our most basic civil right.  She has now sought out legal advice from the very attorney who assisted her and other board members in violating the law by voting in closed session.

Vasquez advised McGuire, May 18, 2016, of the following:

The Illinois Open Meetings Act requires the public body to provide some opportunity for public
comment. 5 ILCS 120/2.06(g). The Attorney General says that means every meeting of a public body
must include a public comment period. A public body can adopt policies for the public comment
period, including imposing time limits on speakers and establishing and enforcing measures to deal
with disruptive members of the public. A public body cannot, however, adopt or apply a rule that
prohibits criticism of public employees, according to a federal district court ruling in Mnyofu v. Bd of
Education of Rich Township H.S. Dist. (N.E. Dist., April 5, 2016).

McGuire had previously complained to the Higher Learning Commission that current board counsel did not stop comments from the Edgar County Watchdogs directed at her during public comment.  Clearly she did not like the legal opinion she was given as she is still seeking an attorney to tell her what she wants to hear instead of what the law is.  We doubt even Kory Atkinson would tell her you can restrict the content of a person’s comments at a public meeting.

We can only wonder why the advice she did get failed to point to the Constitution.

1st Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Once again, Ms. McGuire, you cannot ban public comment criticism at public meetings!  The fact you are still hung up on this issue is yet another example as to why the HLC should ignore everything you have ever said to them.

Time for the petition calling for McGuire to resign!

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College of DuPage – Trustee McGuire violates board policy 5-180

DuPage Co. (ECWd)

In what appears to be yet another example of total disregard for the policies at College of DuPage, Trustee Diane McGuire violated yet another one, and this one should have consequences.  McGuire, the lone radical “rogue” trustee who refuses to be a part of the solution for problems facing COD, is a primary contributor of ensuring there is no board unity on anything, as she simply can’t be trusted.

McGuire has rambled for a year now about legal costs at COD, to include lying to the Higher Learning Commission by providing false information pertaining to legal bills.  A move that can’t help matters related to COD accreditation.

Is McGuire a contributor to those legal costs?

According to Board Policy 5-180, page 51, “the Board also recognizes that dissemination of privileged documents increases the risk of unauthorized disclosure and resulting waiver of attorney-client privilege, and increases legal costs for the College and taxpayers.”

To keep things in perspective, we encourage you to read Part 1, Part II, and Part III where we exposed McGuire’s recent letter to the HLC and referenced her violating board policy as it relates to attorney-client privilege.

  • (6) No Trustee is authorized to waive the attorney-client privilege on behalf of the Board. Only a majority of the Board may do so.

A simple review of the letter to HLC below reflects key parts were redacted. I have confirmed with COD legal counsel that what was redacted was attorney-client privileged information.  The letter sent to HLC was NOT redacted.  That being the case, McGuire once again violated board policy, this time by releasing attorney-client privileged information without board approval.

Ironically, Chris Robling, a former COD employee who donated all of his paychecks back to the COD Foundation and was probably the most hated person at COD by Diane McGuire, posted a comment in a recent article that we, frankly, agree totally with.

“Since this is a recurring practice of Trustee McGuire’s, of which at least three and probably six trustees are aware, might COD’s Board, which has a significant interest in upholding the confidentiality of its privileged information as fiduciaries of the residents, voters, taxpayers, students, employees, etc., be well advised to seek to enjoin Trustee McGuire from further unauthorized disclosures of privileged information through a suit in equity?

At least doing so would convey to Trustee McGuire that upholding institutional confidentiality is a responsibility of her office, not a whimsical fancy to be upheld one day and ignored the next. It would also cause her to consider facing the judge who enjoins here should she do so again, which one supposes, would cause her to respect her position and the interests of her constituents with greater fealty.”

We encourage the COD Board of Trustees to take up the advice of Chris Robling and hold McGuire’s feet to the fire in the court system, as nothing else seems to get her attention.

In addition, we felt in necessary to point out the Values of COD found in the Board policy and see how McGuire rates in that regard.

Values:
Integrity
We expect the highest standard of moral character and ethical behavior.

Moral Character and ethical behavior would mean you don’t lie about the actual legal expenses and manipulate information to support a twisted agenda.  McGuire Fails when it comes to Integrity

Honesty
We expect truthfulness and trustworthiness.

As has been shown numerous times, McGuire can’t be trusted because she continues to lie in her efforts to scuttle the accreditation at COD.  McGuire Fails when it comes to Honesty.

Respect
We expect courtesy and dignity in all interpersonal interactions.

When a person continues to disrupt meetings and misrepresent facts in what appears to be a burning desire for attention, it becomes evident she has no clue of the real value of interpersonal interactions.  McGuire Fails when it comes to Respect. 

Responsibility
We expect fulfillment of obligations and accountability

Considering she refused to do her job and attend meetings and continues to violate board policy, it is ever so clear McGuire has no clue as to what responsibility is.  McGuire Fails when it comes to Responsibility.

Diane McGuire should resign and we suggest the good people of DuPage County start an online petition calling for her resignation. Maybe after thousands of people sign it she will get the message and do everyone a favor and resign.

Download (PDF, 464KB)

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College of DuPage – Trustee McGuire accreditation scuttling efforts with HLC – Part III

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

The grand finale- Part III (Part I and Part II )-

  • “I would be most uncomfortable expressing any sort of opinion at a retreat.”

Seriously?  The very woman who has NEVER been shy of expressing her opinion to the local paper or attacking her fellow Board members at meetings now claims she would be uncomfortable expressing any sort of opinion?  LOL!

  • “The new president was just appointed on a 4-3 vote this week”

Another lie by McGuire.  Erin Birt abstained and that means her abstention carries with the majority.  Under Prosser v. Village of Fox Lake, you can’t show up to be part of a quorum, vote “present,” and have your vote count as a “no.”  The appointment under Prosser, if ever challenged, is properly tallied as a 7-0 vote, which again shows she has no clue what she is talking about, let alone voting on.

  • “The candidate who was chosen, in my opinion, most likely also has personal and professional ties to William Hay, our search firm CEO”

A perfect example as to why McGuire has been shunned by so many in her own local political environment.  She makes statements insinuating things when she has no evidence to support such a claim. We challenge her to share what basis there is for her “opinion”.  And if that was even true, why did she never challenge Rondeau about it face to face?  Maybe because Rondeau, as a Navy Vice Admiral 3-star, knows all about the behavior of rats on a sinking ship.

  • “she was described to the press as an out-of-state candidate”

Did she reside in Illinois?  I believe the answer is NO, thus she is an out-of-state candidate.  However, we must ask, what does a person’s residence have to do with their qualifications for the position?

  • “We’ve had seven professional service providers appointed by the Board in the past twelve months, all with questionable ties to the Clean Slate trustees or our former Chair, Kathy  Hamilton.”

Let’s keep this simple.  Prove it Ms. McGuire!

  • “The lawsuits are still playing out; the expenses related to the firing of the three administrators are now very close to $5,000,000″

Another lie by McGuire!  Prove it Ms. McGuire!

  • “Next year’s budget will be $11,000,000 short on revenue to meet expenses, something we never saw in the past.”

Drum roll please!  The reason for a shortage of revenue is conveniently left out by McGuire.  The fault of this revenue shortage lies with Mike Madigan, her friend who is in control of that process in the Illinois House of Representatives.  And for all those that want to blame the governor, explain why even the Senate rejected Madigan’s out of balance budget.  Had the state paid their portion there would be no shortage, yet she once again manipulates the facts to insinuate this shortage is somehow the fault of the Reform trustees!

  • “As I said at the end of my November correspondence, the underlying dynamics on the Board, centered on mistrust and a profound difference of opinion with regard to the “corruption” on campus, seem impenetrable.”

She speaks to mistrust of the board members.  Who in their right mind would trust this woman (who can’t keep her own facts straight for more than a few days or a month) with anything of substance?  Perhaps if she browsed our website again, the information throughout it can explain why no one trusts Ms. McGuire.  Also, since when is a difference of opinion about an issue grounds for “mistrust”?  Does that mean she refuses to trust anyone who disagrees with her?  If so, she should, again, resign.

  • “Their manufactured crisis has produced no indictments and a clean audit for 2015.”

I guess she missed the February 2015 Chicago Tribune article titled: “Ex-College of DuPage radio engineer charged with felony theft”

As far as the clean audit, so too was the Dixon, IL audit clean, all while $54 million dollars was stolen from the taxpayers.

  • “Although some have described these differences as “bickering” they are fundamentally about fairness, justice and transparency.”

Fairness, justice and transparency?  Is She serious?

What is fair, Trustee McGuire—coming to the table and discussing ideas on the merits, or ignoring the will of the people who hated the job you were doing, and tried to fix it?

What is just, Trustee McGuire—making false accusations about people based not on evidence but your emotional feels in a forum where they do not have a chance to respond?

What is transparent, Trustee McGuire, about you colluding in secret with the Breuder holdovers to boycott, steal College documents, and make false statements to the HLC to harm the College?

As is evident once again, rogue COD Trustee Diane McGuire is the problem!
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College of DuPage – Trustee McGuire accreditation scuttling efforts with HLC – Part II

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

As promised, Part II of the McGuire meltdown in her letter to HLC, but please read Part 1 first (Part III here).

  • “At absolutely no point was Vice Chair Mazzochi willing to consider supporting one of our agendas”

Untrue, as Mazzochi published five agendas that contained the items McGuire wanted, and two of them were even identical agendas created by McGuire (the January 14 and February 3, 5:30 pm agenda).  McGuire at every turn refused to participate or give her own Board members the courtesy of a start-time when they all could be present to participate.

  • “we allowed for the process to play out with an appointment by the Chair of the ICCB, Dr. Lopez.”

Allowed for the process to play out???  Are you kidding?  Trustee McGuire refused to show up to ANY scheduled Board meeting that would have obligated her to discuss the 7th Trustee; demanded that Dr. Lopez make the appointment; and the minute Dr. Lopez wisely stood on the side of reform, complained about his choice.  Which, we suppose, goes to show there is no point trying to use logic on crazy.  In any event, Ms. McGuire fails to understand that given her refusal to do her duty, and participate in the process during the 60-day period allocated to the Board, she abdicated her power so that there was no other process possible.  Her antics denied the Board their procedural rights to self-select the 7th Trustee.

She also states,

  • “I spent 11 hours reviewing those invoices and discovered one invoice in particular dealing with the [XXXX-REDACTED – ATTORNEY CLIENT PRIVILEGE -XXXX]”

Woe-Nelly! She admits to reviewing legal invoices (remember that) and has now tried to break attorney-client privilege (and violated Board policy while doing so, which clearly requires a request to the Board and then a vote before disclosing anything) by telling the HLC about 1 invoice she found something on in her 11-hour review.

  • “the balance of power was restored once again to the Clean Slate”

Again, she is totally focused on power and control.  Who cares who is in charge provided the result is improving the operation for all the stakeholders?  Sadly, McGuire will not be happy about anything she is not in charge of (though given her highly charged emotional state, we wonder if she was granted power would she be like the proverbial dog who chases cars, and then wonders what the hell to do once she bites a bumper—not have a clue what to productively further do).

  • “allowing for trustees to impose restrictions on the viewing of legal documents by other trustees.”

There are no restrictions on the “viewing” of legal documents, only the ability to copy them, share them, and steal them.  Given that Trustee McGuire previously directed copies of the legal bills she got in September towards the press; then removed copies of the bills from the College in December; and just improperly disclosed privileged information to the HLC in May, it is hardly surprising that the woman has to be saved from herself.   Ultimately, she has full access to them with an issued password.  Her problem, which she calls a restriction, is based on the fact she can’t copy them and walk out the door and share them with anyone.

  • “I have attempted numerous times to view these documents, which are displayed two to a screen, all to no avail.”

First she spent 11 hours reviewing legal invoices.  Now she implies viewing them, two to a screen, is really just too much for her.

  • “There are error messages, password problems, difficulty turning the pages on the screen so they are readable.”

How do you have a problem turning pages of a .pdf file on the screen when you insinuated you “attempted” to view them all to no avail, meaning you could not view them?  Need a hint Ms. McGuire? Click “view” then Click “rotate clockwise or counterclockwise” accordingly.   Her complaint of turning pages is laughable at best.  I can’t count the number of FOIA’d records from COD that we had to turn in order to read them.  The law does not allow us to complain about a record that has to be turned, nor should the HLC or anyone else for that matter, give McGuire any sympathy for a few key strokes she may have to exercise in the performance of her duty—which seems to be artificially inflating COD’s actual legal expenses as part of her efforts to assist Michelle Moore and her patron Dan Cronin in attacking Tim Elliott in the County Board race.

  • “In a recent closed session, Vice Chair Mazzochi indicated that with regard to the [XXXX-REDACTED – ATTORNEY CLIENT PRIVILEGE -XXXX]

Again, McGuire just proved exactly why she can’t be trusted with attorney-client privilege material.  She continues to expose sensitive information that may subject COD to possible additional legal expenditures.

  • “Photos have been taken of my papers on the table at board meetings by Trustee Napolitano.”

That is a lie!  I spoke with Trustee Napolitano and the only picture he has ever taken of anything on the table at a board meeting was a magazine McGuire had shown him as he wanted to remember the name of it.  If she is referring to this one we published and discussed here, we can assure Trustee McGuire it did not come from Trustee Napolitano.  And, Trustee McGuire is only upset about the e-mail photo because it shows she was taking orders to do exactly as former COD Trustee Kory Atkinson told her to in the e-mail, holding up a copy of the Daily Herald at that night’s Board meeting, and criticizing the reformers.  If she means something else, we challenge her to provide evidence to support her claim.  If she can produce it, we will publish it!

  • “two private conversations with Trustee Napolitano were made public to the press at a board meeting”

Yes, the conversations were made public at a board meeting but strictly in the form of refuting McGuire’s first claim to the Daily Herald that she has not ever had a phone conversation with Napolitano.  After Napolitano produced phone records to disprove her claim she clearly was embarrassed as she was caught in another lie.  Now those conversations that she first said she did not have, have morphed into two conversations she now admits she had, but just deemed “private.”  Sorry, in our world a “private” conversation is still one that exists.  Is this her way of avoiding transparency, by having “private” conversations with other board members?

Click here for Part III
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