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April 22, 2024

College of DuPage – Local Media fails the public….again!

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On September 25, 2015

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –
We have questioned local media in the past and written about issues with media in general regarding their failure to get to the bottom of what they are being told by people when they prepare their articles.
We also continue to see local media endorse candidates that are a far cry from what the people are wanting, which simply confirms there is a disconnect between their readers and the people.    Please don’t take our word for it.  Simply read the articles we wrote and look at the election results.  Political Endorsements Fail the public part I, II and III.
We have an in-house policy that has served us quite well.  We don’t believe anything people tell us until we can validate it ourselves.   We also don’t endorse candidates however we do expose them.
A recent Daily Herald article quoted the former COD Chairman Dave Carlin on some issues related to Breuder’s contract that have gone unchecked for validity, which leads people to believe the reporting of his words must be true.  We will prove his words to be false and some would even say a complete fabrication.
“But David Carlin, who was chairman of the COD board that extended Breuder’s contract in 2011, said that COD presidents have had automatic rollover provisions within their contracts since at least 1994. The contracts for Breuder and two previous presidents were automatically annually extended for an additional year unless trustees acted to terminate the pacts(Daily Herald Link)
It would appear that there are key people in high places at the Daily Herald who are not happy with the reforms of lower taxes and decreased tuition because clearly the focus has been on claims of vendettas against Breuder, and insinuations of wrongdoing by the reformers.  To date, all they have presented is a lot of opinion with little substance.

Let’s put some substance behind Dave Carlin’s claims regarding past contracts. 

The contracts for Breuder and two previous presidents were automatically annually extended for an additional year unless trustees acted to terminate the pacts”

We addressed the automatic rollover claim in this article as it related to Breuder’s contract, however, now it is time to expose the rest of his misinformation.

Two previous Presidents

  • Dr. Sunil Chand – July 1st 2005 – June 30 2009  – Section E -REAPPOINTMENT  “This contract shall be extended for one (1) additional year unless the Board gives the President notice of intent not to extend this contract for one (1) additional year by April 1 of the final year of the contract.”

So as you can see, Dr. Chand, the previous president, DID NOT have an automatic annually extending contract.  The only additional year extension only happens if the board did nothing by April 1st of the final year of the contract, which is not annually nor automatic!  (Click here for a copy of the contract)

  • Michael T. Murphy -July 1, 2002 through June 30, 2004 – “The termination date of this contract shall be June 30, 2004 and shall not be extended.”

Mr. Murphy’s contract does not have an automatic annual extension as Carlin claimed, but instead it contains specific language that states it shall not be extended(Click here for copy of contract)

How can a person confuse “of the final year of the contract” or “shall not be extended” with “automatic annual extension”?

This proves the reporting was nothing more than echoing of Dave Carlin’s words without ever validating the claims. When local media gets to the point where it simply trusts what people tell them without ever validating it, we find ourselves in a society that can no longer trust what they read, which most would agree is where we are at today.

We have lived this process first hand in Edgar County and that is why we started doing what we do, which is posting of the documents and let the people read for themselves.  In most cases we don’t need the bad actor’s input because the paper trail tells the world what they need to know.

If Dave Carlin actually claimed what the paper reported then he mislead the public, as did the paper by not validating what they were told.  Considering Carlin obtained the contracts in question several months prior from a FOIA to COD, it reflects he at least had them in his possession.  Sadly, he either failed to read them, or didn’t maintain the mental capacity to understand them, which is probably the case considering all the illegal actions that took place while he was on this board.

In addition to the contract issue, let’s not forget the recent Daily Herald editorial that raised this question: “Is Hamilton withholding COD records from Board opponents?” (Click here for that story)

The answer to the question is provided in their own editorial, “Hamilton has denied that any information has been withheld”, and instead of confirming that fact they go on to report, “but Birt and McGuire do not seem reassured“.
Cry me a river – Birt and McGuire don’t seem reassured.  What are the facts?  The fact of the matter there has been no withholding of information as insinuated by Birt and McGuire, which was confirmed in open session of recent board meetings when they were called out by other trustees. In addition, conversations with people in the financial department have confirmed no information was withheld from them and that they provided them with everything they asked for.
The filing of a FOIA by McGuire and Birt was nothing more than an attempt to discredit Hamilton, and by all indications the Daily Herald dog-piled right along with them.
Not convinced the local media has an agenda? How about the Daily Herald Editorial titled:  “Unless there’s cause, COD should drop the Breuder firing bid.” (Click here for that editorial)
I contend there is an agenda behind the scenes to prop up Breuder and defend his actions for reasons we have not yet nailed down, but are working on. We suspect a very close personal relationship with a key person at the Herald.

The very direction of the writing tells us a lot. For example, to state: “But unless there’s something beneath the surface that hasn’t been revealed — and Trustee Dianne McGuire suggests there isn’t — he does not deserve to be the pariah that Hamilton and her allies have made of him.”, points to a head in the sand.

The insinuation is that what has surfaced is not sufficient to fire Breduer, which is laughable at best.  Not convinced there is an agenda by the Herald Editorial Board?

“The spending, the benefits, the contract and the buyout, after all — these were approved by the board trustees. They can’t blame him for taking what they gave, casting it as some sort of Machiavellian Breuder-made-us-do-it magic spell.” (from same article linked above)

Daily Herald logic applied:  Radio Engineer John Valenta, currently charged with felony theft can’t be blamed, after all, every bill he submitted was approved by the board of trustees.  Can’t blame him for taking what they gave, casting it as some sort of Machiavellian Valenta-made-us-do-it magic spell.

No, it is clear in the writing, a defense for Breuder and all his illegal acts are being defended and an orchestrated effort is being pursued to provide misinformation on the chain of events at COD.

My question to John Lampinen of the Daily Herald: Will you tell your readers what your relationship with Robert Breuder is?  Is it true you are close friends? Have you or do you still socialize with Breuder?

I would encourage the readers of any newspaper to start fact checking the information being presented and if you find the reporting to be false, send a letter to the editor and demand the truth be published.  If they don’t fix the error I would hope you are smart enough to stop buying the paper.


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  • Sharon May
    Posted at 14:35h, 25 September

    Similar to CoD, same thing in DeKalb with NIU. The editor of the local paper has told me that he does not need to verify the statements from NIU’s president prior to printing because, after all, he IS the PRESIDENT. And this is after the editor was supplied proof that contradicts the President’s statements.

  • Richard Jarman
    Posted at 15:27h, 25 September

    The Daily Herald: what passes for a local “newspaper” in this county, the derelict reporting of which we have lived with during the entire Breuder era.

    • Mary Jo Barbosa
      Posted at 11:30h, 26 September

      Just like they dug into Breuder when he left Harper for COD, barely a mention of that or why his move came out of the blue. No recap of his tenure and what he cost us in misspent tax referendums(used for admin salaries due to threat of strike) and his seemingly endless pursuit of turning Harper into a 4 year university. Not to mention the massive expansion of the campus. And with all that has happened with him at COD there has only been one “veiled” reference to what may have caused him to leave Harper like a thief in the night.

  • Kirk Allen
    Posted at 17:26h, 25 September

    Richard I did not realize how bad the reporting was until we started fact checking what they printed. Very sad to see as our society pays for it in more ways than just taxes.