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July 3, 2022

COD- Cover-up or creative avoidance?

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On March 5, 2015

DuPage Co. (ECWd)

 “The college did not locate any records in our files that are responsive to your request.”

“The college does not have any responsive document to your request”

The first statement appears to be one now being used in responses to Freedom of Information requests for records that would cast a serious concern if such records exist.

The second response is a clear statement of fact, the college does not have any!

How convenient for them to take the position on “certain” matters that they did not locate records instead of stating they don’t have records.  The most recent is from numerous tips pertaining to the COD legal council having also represented Breuder in his private capacity.

If those tips are correct then there is a serious concern as it relates to both ethical matters and conflict of interest matters.  Thus, this FOIA was submitted on February 2, 2015 asking for the following items listed below.  (Click here for copy of FOIA request)

  1. Copy of all conflict of interest waivers provided by any attorney and/or law firm representing COD for the last 10 years.
  2. Copy of all Joint Interest Agreement documents provided by any attorney and/or law firm representing COD for the last 10 years.
  3. Copy of all Joint Defense Agreement documents provided by any attorney and/or law firm representing COD for the last 10 years.
  4. Copy of any common interest disclosure documents provided by any attorney and/or law firm representing COD for the last 10 years.
  5. Copy of all the above listed items 1-4 provided to COD by any outside counsel on behalf of Robert Breuder since January 2008.

In clear direct violation of the law, over 30 days later, the response I received contained very disturbing language.

“The college did not locate any records in our files that are responsive to your request.”

Note that they did not say those records DON’T exist!  A fact that could well be determined by one simple conversation with the attorneys who have represented COD as they would have such copies and know if they exist. Please note that although the actual PDF response is dated March, 2nd, 2015, COD did not transmit that response until March 5th, 2015 which is over 30 days from date of request.  What took so long?   (Click here for COD Response)

COD used the same language in their response as it relates to reimbursement payments made to Breuder for “other contractual services”.  (Click here for the forgery article)

Are we witnessing the crafting of FOIA responses in a way that offers a cover up of wrong doing? 

“Sorry Joe, we can’t find those records that reflect the COD attorney and Breuder have signed conflict of interest waivers.”  All  while knowing if such records ever came out, with all the sunshine on COD right now, would be a major news story and a true embarrassment to COD as well as bring possible sanctions against the attorneys.

Is this a case where the tips we received on this are spot on once again and the only way to avoid those records coming out is to simply claim you can’t find them?

Why did this response take OVER 30 days to comply with?  A clear violation where not only was it late, it failed to outlined the requester’s statutory options as is required by the FOI Act.

One could conclude this is yet another creative way the attorneys have come up with to circumvent transparency, however, we have recent responses that clearly state they don’t have any records.  If the goal was to circumvent transparency then why not use the “can’t find anything” excuse for all responses?

Lots of questions that need answered on this one!

Call to action!  If you have ANY information regarding legal representation by any attorney on behalf of Robert Breuder and that attorney is or was also the COD attorney please contact us.  In addition, if you are aware of wrongdoing at COD on any matter please contact us on our tip line at 312-566-8078 or e-mail to [email protected]  All tips are confidential.  In the event your tip leads to a criminal investigation we urge you to assist in that investigation if your information is first person evidence. 

 

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2 Comments
  • screech0000
    Posted at 15:59h, 05 March

    The change in response wording is most unfotunate and may, in fact, be inadvertent. But, since it can also be interpreted as a refusal to comply with FOIA statutes, the attorney-general should be involved..

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 17:35h, 05 March

      come to think of it…the Attorney General’s PAC office changed the wording on their letters in response to Open Meetings and FOIA complaints to them. They used to say something warranted “further review”, but just for COD they changed the wording and letter style to reflect something “less incriminating”. I’ll dig that up and report on it.

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