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April 17, 2024

College of DuPage’s President Breuder admits censorship, fails at FOIA interpretation –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On October 10, 2014

College of DuPage (ECWd) –

President Breuder once again fails to address the $20 million email failure originated by him, instead he puts his sights on citizens that request information through the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

In his October 6, 2014 “Message from the President”, you know, that letter he produces espousing his opinions while at the same time censors others, he chose to attack a Washington Times reporter about his former employment, which only opened up my research net that will now include everywhere Breuder used to work and the conditions on which he left employment.

Additionally, this gem of a statement referencing me was included:


The Washington Times article came to you last Friday by way of Open the Books. We had received a FOIA request submitted by a Mr. John Kraft on Sept. 20, 2014, which stated:

  1. Copy of all email addresses for the College of DuPage. Please provide it in an Excel spreadsheet. Just to be clear, I want to know every email address that the College of DuPage manages or maintains, ie: student, faculty, staff, volunteer, etc.

Mr. Kraft said this was not a commercial request. On page 3 of the mailing to you is a financial solicitation. The solicitation violates College practices that we do not accept uninvited solicitations and, accordingly, the email source has been blocked.


Once again he fails at truth-telling. He failed to tell everyone that he violated the Freedom of Information act by withholding a great portion of the information required to be produced, but I will save that in-depth article for another time.

He also failed to address the definition of “Commercial Purpose”, or as my email stated “Not A Commercial Request” as defined in the Freedom of Information Act. This is an important point considering his insinuation that I had somehow mis-stated the purpose of my request for information, or that the information was used for commercial purposes, when neither happened.

Let’s clear this up one point at a time. If you have had any dealings with us, Illinois Leaks (formerly the Edgar County Watchdogs), we routinely place all of the information gleaned from FOIA requests in a dropbox folder and routinely allow other individuals and organizations access to the same information we have received. We expect the same treatment in return. This process not only speeds up our reporting time-lines, but it also lessens the burden on public bodies through them not having to answer multiple FOIA requests for the same information. Additionally, it is good practice to let other people have access to put more “eyes” on the data, thereby spotting more interesting points to focus on. (click here for the 4,202 email addresses)

Now to the definition of a “Commercial Request” (click here to read the statute):

Section 2 (c-10) of 5 ILCS 140, the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, tells us the definition of a commercial request as such:


(c-10) "Commercial purpose" means the use of any part of a public record or records, or information derived from public records, in any form for sale, resale, or solicitation or advertisement for sales or services. For purposes of this definition, requests made by news media and non-profit, scientific, or academic organizations shall not be considered to be made for a "commercial purpose" when the principal purpose of the request is (i) to access and disseminate information concerning news and current or passing events, (ii) for articles of opinion or features of interest to the public, or (iii) for the purpose of academic, scientific, or public research or education.


For a better understanding, I underlined the part that applies to Illinois Leaks or any other news gathering or watchdog groups out there seeking public records  and reporting on their findings, to include articles of opinion.

I’m thinking of writing it in crayon so Breuder might understand it…

So the bottom line here is that he made up his own interpretation of what commercial purposes are, and censored a sender’s address – all of this after the arrival of an email critical of him and the Board of Trustees.

Illinois Leaks asks the following of our readers:

Do any of our readers with a College of DuPage email address receive unsolicited emails?, and if so do they get deleted from your inbox even if you read them?

If you do receive unsolicited emails, defined by those emails you never expected or asked for, where did they come from? College of DuPage Foundation? Any other local groups?

Please send us a message so we can predict whether or not this was an isolated incident based on the content of the email.

 A Message to President Breuder:

Instead of insinuating that I misused the “commercial purpose” provision of FOIA, I invite and encourage you to follow Section 3.1 (c) and seek my prosecution for an alleged violation of the Freedom of Information Act. As a matter of fact, if that is what you believe, it is your duty to seek enforcement of the law.

 (c) It is a violation of this Act for a person to knowingly obtain a public record for a commercial purpose without disclosing that it is for a commercial purpose, if requested to do so by the public body.

Short of seeking enforcement, try reading the law before making comments you will surely later regret.



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1 Comment
  • John D. Anonymous
    Posted at 08:10h, 30 October

    Keep digging. This type of behavior is what Breuder is famous for.