DuPage Co. (ECWd) –
For months we have reported that the contracts and contract extensions for Robert Breuder were done in violation of the Open Meetings Act and should be voided. (Detailed coverage here, and here).
An in depth legal analysis was taken to pursue a Quo Warranto action by Adam Andrzejewski with American Transparency. Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim received the Quo Warranto application seeking a review of Breuder’s employment contract and addenda. Both denied to take action! (Coverage on that was in Reboot Illinois at this link)
Now, 4 years later, we have in our hands a ruling by the Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor confirming the special meeting called by Dave Carlin on July 12, 2011 had action taken that was not in compliance with the Open Meetings Act.
That action was one of the many Breuder contract extension, of which we have said all along violated OMA, and this ruling confirms it as it was basically the same for each and every extension.
“Because the Board did not state that it was extending the contract of the President or discuss any specifics of the contract extension before taking final action, the Board did not adequately inform the public of the business being conducted. Accordingly, this office concludes that the Board violated section 2(e) of OMA by taking final action on the contract extension at its July 12, 2011, special meeting.”
Now that a determination has been made, what options do the public have? Lisa Madigan could have pursued the Quo Warranto action, and the ruling below makes the case for her, she did nothing. The Will County State’s Attorney could have as well but he did nothing.
Under the Illinois Open Meetings Act there is one option left for the public to get justice and enforcement of our laws and hold the officials at COD accountable to the law.
The OMA allows the DuPage County State’s Attorney, Bob Berlin, to take action and prosecute the violations and have the courts declare the contract ultra vires.
5 ILCS 120/3)
Sec. 3. (a) Where the provisions of this Act are not complied with, or where there is probable cause to believe that the provisions of this Act will not be complied with, any person, including the State’s Attorney of the county in which such noncompliance may occur, may bring a civil action in the circuit court for the judicial circuit in which the alleged noncompliance has occurred or is about to occur, or in which the affected public body has its principal office, prior to or within 60 days of the meeting alleged to be in violation of this Act or, if facts concerning the meeting are not discovered within the 60-day period, within 60 days of the discovery of a violation by the State’s Attorney.
It appears, since it took the AG’s Public Access office 4 years to rule on this, it points to facts not being discovered in that 60 day window, thus the State’s Attorney can take action on this violation within 60 days of discovery by his office.
Now the $763,000.00 dollar question:
Will the States Attorney take action to void this and all other contract extensions?
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