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July 20, 2024

College of DuPage's Breuder – Burkhart / Herricane Graffics connections –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On August 28, 2015

College of DuPage (ECWd) –
For the past 13 months or so we have been reporting on issues dealing with almost every aspect of how the College of DuPage had conducted its day to day business operations, and even connected a few foundation board members with no-bid contracts totaling millions of dollars.
This article will explore what we have previously reported on the business relationship between COD’s Dr. Breuder and Herricane Graffics’ Carla Burkhart. This is not an exhaustive list, just some of the key points on what we have reported. You can read more on Herricane Graffics at this link.
Impersonating an Architect:  The issue with signing a contract as an Architect has been with the Prosecutions Department of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (“IDFPR”) for several months now, but with the state of Illinois finances, that office has not been at full capacity and won’t be until a budget gets passed. (article here). We do not believe it was any mistake that she was being passed off to the trustees as performing architect and project management services, thereby making it appear falling under the umbrella of “professional services”, which Herricane Graffics is clearly not a “professional service” for contracting purposes.
Collusion to Discredit Trustee:  This article explains how Breuder’s administration (thru Glaser) and Burkhart colluded with the college attorney to undermine every effort of now-Chairman Hamilton to get the truth out to the public (click here). This was with the blessing of Breuder according to emails released under FOIA. It is also clear in the email chain that Glaser was unaware of whether Herricane Graffics had a licensed architect employed by them, since Tom Glaser specifically asked Carla Burkhart, on January 4, 2015 after the article broke, “Do you have a licensed Architect in your employ?” Ironically, this was never answered in the subsequent email string although we know the answer is “no”. At some point, you have to ask yourself, if using a standard AIA contract was not an intention to pass the company off as an architect, why would Glaser be asking that question? Why would it matter?
Change Orders Pay-out Big time:  As we have seen in other public bodies, when they have a contractor they want to give business to at all costs, simply have them conveniently come in as low-bidder, or in this case give them a no-bid contract, and immediately start issuing change orders. Sometime these change orders with COD reached to between two and three times the original contracted prices. (here)
No Proof of Insurance:  We talked about how previous contract with Herricane Graffics provided insurance documents, but COD can find nothing for insurance on the no-bid contract.
No Certified Payroll:  There was no evidence of payment of prevailing wages for contracted work with the College of DuPage. This is a requirement of state law, and mandated in the prevailing wage ordinance that COD passed every year.
All of this and more occurred under the watch of Breuder, and his dictatorial management style led to employees refusing to question perceived wrong-doing for fear of retaliation. There is no secret that preferential treatment went to foundation members. All you have to do is look at the sheer volume and numbers to figure that one out, along with their treatment of contracts as a “professional services” in violation of law and policy.


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