DuPage Co. (ECWd) –
Is the Fox running the Hen House?
How many people were aware that the board attorney who oversaw the last COD Board meeting is also a COD Foundation Board member? (COD Foundation Board members)
Kenneth M. Florey, Attorney with Robbins Schwartz, the firm that has taken in $3,323,042.16 between 2005 and 2014 from COD. Yes, Three MILLION, three hundred twenty three thousand, forty two dollars and sixteen cents! (Source – Open The Books for 2005-2012) (2013-2014 from FOIA information)
What we are finding is that the appearance of impropriety is pretty much a slick phrase with little value as it fails to lay out specific rules defining what is an “impropriety”. On the surface most would agree having a COD Foundation Board member as the COD attorney appears to be very inappropriate however as we have all witnessed over the last 12 months, appearances do not mean much at COD.
“Saint Paul’s appeal to the Thessalonians to “abstain from the appearance of evil” served as the precursor to the modern ethical mandate that judges must avoid any behavior which, in fact or perception, reflects adversely on the judge or judiciary. Citing Paul, early courts announced that “to keep the fountain of justice pure and above reproach, the very appearance of evil should be avoided” by jurors, lawyers, litigants, witnesses, and judges.”
“Thus, it was no surprise that after substituting the secular term “impropriety” for the theological reference to “evil,” Paul’s exhortation became part of the American Bar Associations (ABA) first Canons of Judicial Ethics. But it would take the actions of someone less saintly than Paul to convince the ABA that the time had arrived not only to impose an appearance standard on judges, but to make appearances the centerpiece of the rules governing judicial conduct.” (Click here for the full article from Judge Raymond J. McKoski on Judicial Discipline and the Appearance of Impropriety: What the Public Sees Is What the Judge Gets)
If you took the time to read all of the above linked article you now have quite a bit of information and can see how over time, meanings change and rules loosen to justify what most would considering inappropriate.
Is there anyone that honestly thinks it is OK for a Foundation Board Member to be the legal counsel for the College?
Yesterday several legislators held a press conference to discuss moving forward with legislation to stop some of the wrong doing at COD. (State Representative Peter Breen)
May I suggest that one of those legislative steps be to forbid law firms who have one of their partners or employees as a Foundation Board member from representing the College?