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December 9, 2022

College of DuPage – Documents show Savage and Birt campaigned with public funds –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On June 20, 2015

College of DuPage (ECWd) –
In a recent document dump from the College of DuPage, there were several emails leading to questions of impropriety with public funds. We have kept quiet on many aspects of it as to avoid the appearance of interference with the criminal investigation. Turns out, waiting may have just exposed Kim Savage and Erin Birt to be quite the hypocrites based on their quotes to the recent Chicago Tribune article. (Click here for Tribune Article)

Former Chairman and current Trustee Erin Birt“I didn’t want to interfere with the election process.”
Kim Savage“It is extremely important that trustees set a positive example by not blatantly disregarding policies,” she said.

If you don’t want to interfere with the election process, and you want to set a “positive example,” follow the law yourself and don’t use taxpayer resources to help fund an election. Evidence in hand points to straight up electioneering by Kim Savage with approval by Erin Birt using taxpayer dollars and assistance from the COD attorney and contracted PR firm.

On March 13th, 2015, Daily Herald reporter Bob Sanchez sent an e-mail to all of the COD Trustee candidates with a series of questions asking for the candidates’ response.

[documentcloud url=”https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2094348-84-foia-documents/annotations/224204.js” ]

Kim Savage e-mails the COD Board Attorney and says, YIKES, Can you get us help in answering these questions“.

[documentcloud url=”https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2092695-savageelectioneering/annotations/221551.js” ]

Who is “us”? 

Is she seeking help on behalf of Nancy Svoboda who campaigned with her.

Their flyer said “If you want to know the real story at COD, Ask us”  (See flyer in previous article on these two.)

They didn’t tell us this story though did they?

Thirteen minutes later the COD attorney acknowledges the receipt with a response to Birt and Res Publica with “Let’s talk about this Herald Set of Questions due for Monday“.

[documentcloud url=”https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2094348-84-foia-documents/annotations/224203.js” ]

What is there to talk about? 

Why are questions for the candidates a concern for the COD attorney that needs Res Publica and Erin Birt’s input?

Savage had no problem turning to the COD attorney, who turned to Birt and Res Publica, to help craft her personal campaign responses, and thereby help her campaign. Birt knew Savage was doing this. The Board attorney should have responded with a simple, “Sorry Ms. Savage, I can’t help you as the taxpayer pays for my time and this is a private candidate matter.” No, his answer was an affirmative, let’s talk about this Herald set of Questions and he brings Birt into the equation along with the PR Firm that Birt hired without board approval.

I suspect if we had access to the law firms records it would reflect, just as Res Publica’s invoices, they billed COD for this assistance to a private campaign.

Birt should have immediately moved to stop it and to reiterate that no taxpayer-funded personnel can help you with your campaign Ms. Savage. (Of course, since Birt was coordinating the Res Publica charade it should come as no surprise that there is no indication she did not put a stop to this).

Is it just a coincidence that on the same day as Savage’s email plea for help responding to the Daily Herald, the Res Publica invoice confirms it participated in calls with Vasquez, the COD attorney, and the fact they need to address the Daily Herald’s inquiry? (See Page 7 of the invoices and look at the first entry for 3/13/15)

It will be quite telling to find out what kind of response Res Publica put together for that billing and compare it to the amazing quote Savage presented to the Daily Herald piece on 3/18/15 at this link. (03/18/2015 DH article)

So let’s recap. The Daily Herald sent a list of questions to all of the COD candidates asking them to respond for an article to better inform the voters of candidates’ intentions if elected to office.

One such email went to then-Trustee and Candidate Kim Savage. Instead of simply answering the questions independently as a candidate, she chose to forward the email to Res Vasquez, one of the attorneys for College of DuPage, and asked for help in answering the questions for “us”.  Still trying to determine who “us” is.

The attorney’s affirmative response in that same e-mail promising to get together and talk about it (CC’d to Birt), as well as the Res Publica invoice showing billing on the same day for talking with the attorney and dealing with Daily Herald’s inquiry, appears to show a level of self-dealing so deeply ingrained in the administration and past board.

Savage and Birt’s lofty statements to the Tribune utterly conflict with what they actually did. When push came to shove, and Savage was faced with questions directed to all the COD candidates, Savage immediately went to an attorney hired by the board for help (and who was hired by the very board on which she was seeking a position), and Birt’s apparent response was to let them both do so. Indeed, by hiring Res Publica, Birt effectively encouraged and facilitated this.

This was Savage seeking advice as a candidate for herself and at least one other, from a public contracted attorney to the Board and the College, to assist Savage and another in their election attempt (and Birt’s own effort to maintain her power to protect Breuder and other bad apples in the administration). Birt knew exactly what Savage, the attorney, and the PR firm were doing. Taxpayers paid the bill from the PR firm and you can rest assured the same is probably true for the attorney bill.

Is there anyone that believes this is not electioneering on the taxpayer dime with Birt’s full and knowing approval?

Was the Kathy Hamilton “ethics complaint” a false flag operation planted to distract from, or spin Birt and others’ real bad acts using taxpayer funds and public property in the election process?

Do we now have an answer for why Birt so strongly objected to the Board hiring new counsel post-election?

What else have prior Board attorneys done to help cover up Birt and Breuder’s tracks to help them stay in power, besides help with this and the Hamilton ethics complaint?

Kim Savage and Erin Birt, you are hypocrites!

These matters need to be part of a formal criminal complaint and investigation!

 

 

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17 Comments
  • DuPageLiberty
    Posted at 22:50h, 20 June

    RT @ECWDogs: College of DuPage – Documents show Savage and Birt campaigned with public funds -: College of DuPage (ECWd) –
    I… http://t.c…

  • IllinoisCitize1
    Posted at 22:59h, 20 June

    RT @ECWDogs: College of DuPage – Documents show Savage and Birt campaigned with public funds -: College of DuPage (ECWd) –
    I… http://t.c…

  • MarkThoman
    Posted at 07:41h, 21 June

    RT @ECWDogs: College of DuPage – Documents show Savage and Birt campaigned with public funds -: College of DuPage (ECWd) –
    I… http://t.c…

  • Todd
    Posted at 08:21h, 21 June

    Living a lie takes so much more effort then living with integrity.

  • Joseph
    Posted at 11:47h, 22 June

    Good story… sure is a nice try of trying to turn people away from the big Hamilton news last week.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 11:55h, 22 June

      That was not “Big News” last week for people that actually read beyond the headlines.

  • Rob
    Posted at 14:02h, 23 June

    I agree, Kathy Hamilton should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. She is a “wannabe.” Why does she and you nuts have to waste DuPage County taxpayers funds. I cant believe how you guys take something that has a shred on truth and blow it out of proportion. Birt and Savage did nothing wrong. They were not the ones endorsing and raising campaign funds for other candidates. They respected the Illinois ethics law and Board policy. Kathy Hamilton thinks that rules only apply to other people.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 17:07h, 23 June

      Nobody said anything about prosecuting Hamilton in this article – it is Savage that needs prosecuted, so thanks for pointing it out.
      Who is wasting DuPage County taxpayer funds…I mean other than Breuder and the former majority of the board that wined and dined on DuPage County taxpayer’s dime?
      How can you sit here and say they did nothing wrong when it is clearly in the emails and invoices?
      Granted they didn’t endors and raise campaign funds for other candidates, but they DID use PUBLIC, DuPage County taxpayer funds to assist their own candidacies.
      If blatantly violating the Illinois Ethics Law and Board Policy by campaigning using public funds, and the publicly paid attorney is “respecting” it, then Savage is a winner in that department!
      Hamilton thinks the rules apply to ALL people.

      • Vic Barnhill
        Posted at 12:12h, 03 September

        Collins was one of the wine and dine at the water leaf he and his staff did more then anyone why are you not going after him

  • Nancy Drew
    Posted at 14:39h, 24 June

    Kirk Allen and the ‘watchdogs” are nothing but hypocrites as apparently it is OK for Queen Hamilton to violate Board policy but not for anyone else. I suspect it is because Hamilton has donated to edgarcountywatchdogs. Kirk, if you are so interested in transparency, release your IRS Form 990’s so we can actually see you is funding you. Probably that would be too transparent for those that don’t want to be revealed. Maybe an investigation on the tax exempt status of your group is in order.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 15:37h, 24 June

      Do you want the number to the IRS? Let me know, I will look it up for you.
      I’m just hopeful that you are not an elected official or have any position of influence, because it is so simple to log on to the Attorney General’s website to look up any no for profit in the state and look at their annual financial report. If you are too ignorant to accomplish that simple task, quit posting in here.

  • Nancy Drew
    Posted at 14:46h, 24 June

    Hamilton is a political back-bencher who thinks COD will launch her to higher office. Good luck with that. Republicans already see her for what she is; vindictive and arrogant.

    Kraft and Allen think they are political kingmakers when all they really are are hacks that work in conjunction with Hamilton. They are not taxpayer advocates nor objective as they should be calling for Hamilton’s prosecution, but they don’t want a major funder to be jailed or fined so the cash can keep rolling in.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 15:42h, 24 June

      Hamilton broke no law, no need to call for prosecutions. Savage, however, did by using a public atty to give her “pointers” on her campaign. Birt knew about it and let it happen.
      You must be upset we keep catching you and your allies with their hands dirty.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 15:51h, 24 June

      I’ll give you a hint: http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/charities/disclaimer.html
      Follow the instructions and look it up.
      If you can’t read, call our tip line and leave your number, I will call back and give you step-by-step instructions.

  • Randy Boog Varnell
    Posted at 22:50h, 27 September

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  • John Kraft
    Posted at 22:50h, 27 September

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  • Mike Woodyard
    Posted at 22:50h, 27 September

    Mike Woodyard liked this on Facebook.

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