College of DuPage

College of DuPage – Another Pay to Play for the 2010 Referendum?

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

As if using your tax money to promote a referendum to sell $168 Million in bonds, that you get to pay back with your tax dollars, is not bad enough, COD once again followed a path that appears to be a Pay to Play pattern. (Smoking Gun article on tax money for referendum)

The advertising company that COD contracted with was yet another “no Bid”, “no RFP” deal that appears to have a pay to play pattern to it as well. Micheal Walters Advertising received a contract “not to exceed” $149,650.00 under the now famous COD “Professional Service” claim.  (See Board approval document here)

They just happen to be the same advertising company that fronted the PAC established by Joe Moore more than $40,000.00 in signs for the 2010 Bond Referendum.  Payments for those signs were not made until well after the November 2, 2010 election. Was that front based on assurance of COD business for this referendum?  (D2 Expenditure Reporting)

Looking at the invoices it is clear the “not to exceed” $149,650.00 clause in the minutes meant little!  They blew past that dollar figure well before the election.  Another lack of internal controls under the great management capability of Breuder and Glaser, but that is not the most amazing part of this scandal.

Having blown the budget, the board voted for a “SCOPE” change to the tune of $165,000.00 immediately after the election.  (See minutes page 6)

Scope Change……..After the Election?

SCOPE CHANGE IN THE AMOUNT OF $165,000.00  FOR THE COLLEGE’S PUBLIC EDUCATION CAMPAIGN WITH MICHAEL WALTERS. (See page 6 of minutes)

Why would you need a scope change for a campaign after the election?  This was no scope change in the public education campaign!

This was, oh crap, we spent double what we approved and we have to pass this to pay for the advertising! 

Need more convincing?

If there was a scope change, can anyone explain why there is no evidence of that scope change in the Board Packet?  No evidence of a Board approval document like all other matters the board votes on in the board packet?  (Board Packet from SCOPE change meeting)

The paper trail paints a pretty clear picture. 

  • PAC created for Referendum by COD Executive staff member Joseph Moore.
  • PAC gets fronted over $40,000.00 in advertising from Micheal Walters Advertising.
  • COD hires the same company on a no bid contract with a set limit.
  • COD blows past the contract limit, and immediately following the election, passes a so called scope change for a campaign that is over!  
  • Scope change documentation missing from Board Packet.
  • Board Approval Documents for the scope change missing from Board Packet.
  • PAC pays Micheal Walters Advertising over three weeks after the election. 
  • PAC spends over $7,000.00 of donated funds to send out “thank you” cards to the voters after using their tax money to convince them to take more of their tax money! 

Only in Illinois!

 

 

4 replies »

  1. Par for the course at COD. Back in 2006 Monica Chadha at Ross Barney Architects wrote the then-project manager for Gilbane, which was heading the construction on campus. You might FOIA her e-mail, from June 26, 2006 9:55 AM, to Gary T. Spivey. Cc’d on the e-mail are Chantelle Brewer and Eric Martin.

    Though this e-mail discusses a small dollar amount, less than $80, the tone of the e-mail suggests this was a longstanding issue:

    “Did you review the steel change order with Dave Binford? It is broken out and totaled differently than what they submitted April 25th.The difference is $78.81 – again we could pick this up as a correction. Has EVS reviewed with you why they are modifying the change orders after the fact? All of the information that I included in the earlier change orders include their backup documentation and Edwin did sign them from what Steve told me.”