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!