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May 17, 2022

COD Officials Attempt to Intimidate Media…and Fail –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On December 19, 2014

Glenn Ellyn, IL. (ECWd) –

Edited to include the name of the attorney…

During the December 18, 2014 College of DuPage Board of Trustees meeting the College attempted to intimidate media (me) in the media seating area.

Here is how this failure went down:

To start off, COD is simply trying to marginalize any media that does not agree with their position.

In the November meeting, I asked to be placed in the area reserved for media and was refused.

Approximately two weeks prior to this meeting, I emailed a formal request for reserved seating in the media area of the board room. I sent a second email on Tuesday. (read them here).

I received an emailed response (click here to read it) the morning of the meeting by some attorney from Robbins-Schwartz that did not identify himself as an attorney for COD, did not ask for any additional information on whether or not I was media, and did not quote any law to support his position that I was not media. He did make a feeble attempt at using FOIA to determine the definition of media, but even that failed on its face.

Prior to the meeting, the Media Relations Director, or whatever her title is, decided all on her own that the definition of media included a requirement to be a member of the Illinois Press Association. Keep in mind that the actual legal definition of media has no such requirement. She even went so far as to tell me she would ask a College of DuPage Police Officer to remove me from the room if I did not comply with her wishes, like her wishes actually meant anything at all. I told her to summon the officer if she felt that was what she needed to do. She left the room for awhile and returned without an officer. She must have felt defeated at that time.

A short while later, the Board attorney, Mr. Respicio F. Vasquez of Franczek Radelet P.C., approached me and informed me that they had decide I was not “media” and that I was to leave the press area. We argued back and forth, and i finally told him that he did not have any authority to ask anyone to do anything in that room. He said he would get an officer to remove me, and I told him that the officer lacked any authority to act on any of his directions. An officer did show up, standing close enough to observe what was unfolding. I then told the board chairman that she was in charge of the room, and that if she ordered me to move that I would gladly move. The reason for this is that if I would have moved on the attorney’s orders, I would not be able to file suit against the college since he had no authority for anything in that room, but if the chairman ordered me to move, I could file suit.

The meeting finally started and I was not ordered to move from where I was sitting. However, later in the meeting, the chairman accused me of causing a disruption prior to the meeting, when that disruption was actually caused by the college attempting to redefine the term “media” to fit their need for control and to only include those that write favorably about the College. I was simply enforcing my right, as media, to sit in the area reserved for media.

Finally, I sent an email to the attorney expressing my displeasure with what he attempted to do (here).

You can listen to the audio (here). Video of this encounter will be in a later article.

 

COD-Atty

Attorney who thought he was in charge of the room.

 

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9 Comments
  • ECWDogs
    Posted at 22:52h, 19 December

    COD Officials Attempt to Intimidate Media…and Fail – http://t.co/v30vLGm7KU

  • mvtopic
    Posted at 23:42h, 19 December

    RT @ECWDogs: COD Officials Attempt to Intimidate Media…and Fail – http://t.co/v30vLGm7KU

  • Gerard H Schilling
    Posted at 04:38h, 20 December

    Your awesome. Keep up the great work of freeing us from these clowns tyrannical bondage. You should develop a slogan like Take Back Your Freedom.

  • Dave
    Posted at 09:08h, 20 December

    Wow, they are really arrogant and deceitful!

  • Carol
    Posted at 09:11h, 20 December

    Awesome. Gettem’. They are snakes

  • Carol
    Posted at 09:14h, 20 December

    Good going. Gettem’. Who the hell do they think they are??

  • Chris M. Gaines
    Posted at 22:00h, 20 December

    Nice! I read this story and listened to the audio you provided and was inspired by you standing your ground John. Thank you! Hopefully I pray this will inspire other citizen journalists in our state to act accordingly and do the same and not fear lawyers or public servants using police intimidation to get their way or exclude any other citizen journalists in these ways. I now plan on testing this strategy in MORE Coles County public meetings in the near future. I went to a Coles County board meeting early this summer and was treated with respect and even offered a chair to sit at the open doorway because the the side board room full to capacity with public servants during the pre board meeting discussions. All our citizens should FIRST get MORE informed by attending MORE public meetings to be able to then make informed decisions. We the People should as citizens report what we see and hear at these public meetings to our neighbors, friends and family who can’t attend them for whatever reason. It’s our civic duty to get MORE informed and get PERSONALLY involved in the process of democracy or We the People should expect more of the same treatment like you experienced in Dupage County. Thanks again for the inspiration John. Good job from your friends in Coles County!

  • Sanndy
    Posted at 09:46h, 22 December

    Did John remain at the meeting? I hope so. May I ask where was our local media? The Beacon/Sun, Daily Herald, Tribune?

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 12:48h, 22 December

      I remained at the meeting and in the media seat that I started in. The local media was sitting right there not saying a word – when they too should have been protesting.

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