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May 19, 2024

Watchdogs secure Temporary Restraining Order against College of DuPage –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On January 29, 2015

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

After several months of requests for a larger meeting room for citizens to attend the meeting in the same room the board members are in, and months of denials of that request by the College of DuPage attorneys, our attorney, Timothy Elliot of Rathje & Woodward in Wheaton filed for a temporary restraining order under the Open Meetings Act to ask the Court to order the College of DuPage Board of Trustees to hold their meeting in a room large enough to accommodate the expected attendees.

The Plaintiffs were: “For The Good Of Illinois”, Adam Andrzejewski, “Edgar County Watchdogs”, Kirk Allen, and John Kraft.

COD showed in court the morning of January 28, 2015 to fight the order, and they fought as hard as they could fight to keep citizens from attending “their” meetings, making wild claims of “small” numbers in attendance, claiming they didn’t get enough advanced notice by enough people, and anything else they could pull out of their backside, like the humorous claims we are “attempting to shut down College of DuPage.”

The bottom line is that the College, and Dr. Breuder, used your money to have two attorneys argue in court against you. They did not want the public in the meeting, and they fought against it. It would have been so simple to agree to a larger space, but that would mean they would be acknowledging the fact their existing room is too small and violates the Open Meetings Act.

After hearing the arguments, Judge Bonnie Wheaton issued the restraining order against the College of DuPage upholding the rights of citizens to attend public meetings in keeping with the Open Meetings Act, stating in writing that “conducting that [Jan 28, 2015] meeting in the usual location would violate Section 2.01 of the Open Meetings Act under the applicable injunctive relief standards in the Act.”

This is a huge win for the taxpayers of this community college district and a huge ruling against the College of DuPage Board of Trustees. We having been trying to accomplish this for the past two monthly meetings – and the COD Attorneys had even written the Attorney General stating that they would comply if they had advance notice, but turned around and refused the public two months in a row in direct contradiction to what they wrote in their letter to the AG.

We have ordered the transcripts of the hearing and will post them in their entirety once received.

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  • naturedevil
    Posted at 14:22h, 29 January

    The legal work that you do helps lay the groundwork for the local taxpayers to speak out and invoke change in their community. Thank you for empowering citizens.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 14:38h, 29 January

      Thanks, but just a reminder, we are not attorneys, and we had an attorney represent us in this case.

  • Doug Ibendahl
    Posted at 07:02h, 30 January

    Congratulations and great work.