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July 20, 2024

Harper College – Breuder and William Kelly – You cannot make this stuff up!

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On November 3, 2015

DuPage & Cook County – (ECWd) –
In all my life I dont think I have ever seen so much malfeasance and disregard for the rule of law as I have in matters surrounding former College of DuPage president Robert Breuder.
As we continued to uncover his history we saw Illinois Community College Trustee Association (ICCTA) past president William Kelly try to insinuate the COD problems are simply an isolated incident. (previous article here)
We received more records from Harper College surrounding his contract with them and let’s just say you are not going to believe what is actually written on paper.
The Harper College Board of Trustees approved Breuder’s employment contract in January of 1998 that included funding for his wife’s expenses for travel.
4.  “The Board shall promptly reimburse the President, in an amount of up to Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00) per year, for expenses incurred by his spouse for travel and/or participation in College-related functions. (See page 2)

Yes, the Harper College Board of trustees provided a $2,500 a year expense reimbursement clause for his wife’s travel and/or participation in College Related functions.
There is nothing in the statutes or our State Constitution that permits public money to be given to the spouse of a public official.

Can it get any worse?

12. “The Board shall, on an annual basis, reimburse the President in the amount of Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2,500.00),  which shall be paid to the President on or before the 15th day of December of each year, for income taxes arising from benefits received by the President under this Section C. ”  (See page 3)

So not only do they give his wife an expense account of $2,500.00 for travel related to college events, they even provide $2,500.00 annually so he can pay his income taxes arising from the benefits!  Any bets the income tax stipend was not reported as income?

Yes, it can get worse!

Capital Loss Reimbursement: “Board will reimburse Brender for a portion of the Capital Loss experienced by Brender from the sale of Breuder’s initial residence located within the College Boundaries“.  (See page 9 & 10 below)

You Can Not Make This Stuff Up!

One contract with 14 Addendum’sContract addendum dates are as follows:

  • 1st- 30 June 1998
  • 2nd – 26 March 1999
  • 3rd – 27 May 1999
  • 4th – 23 March 2000
  • 5th – 19 July 2000
  • 6th – 5 April 2001
  • 7th – 24 September 2002
  • 8th – 22 August 2001 (Note, the 8th addendum appears to be dated a year earlier than the 7th addendum)
  • 9th – 17 November 2002
  • 10th – 26 August 2003
  • 11th – 25 May 2004
  • 12th – 21 December 2004
  • 13th – 27 September 2005
  • 14th – 22 November 2005.

If would appear with the frequency and pure volume of contract modifications this was a winner take all event, very similar to what he attempted to pull off at COD.
But lets make sure we keep things in perspective.  Never forget what the former ICCTA President William Kelley stated in his Daily Herald guest column:
“Legislative overreach in reaction to an isolated incident may garner headlines in the short term, but often leads to unintended consequences, costly mandates and increased administrative bureaucracy over the long term.”
I think the facts point to the following more appropriate quote which is from me”
“Lack of legislative over-site has prevented what could have been an isolated incident which lead to unintended consequences and garnered a flurry of never ending headlines, costly legal bills, and an administrative bureaucracy that has no clue what they are doing!”  
Clearly, the failures exposed at COD and Harper point to boards, in spite of ICCTA training, that had no clue what was happening before their eyes.  Clearly these events are not isolated and in fact, the allowance of such actions has lead to unintended consequences without any so called legislative overreach.  I think I would prefer the legislative measures that require laws to be followed.  That way when a board gives money to spouses of public employees they can be the ones arrested for violating our laws!

Let this be yet another example as to why former ICCTA Presdient William Kelley’s words fall on deaf ears. 

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BreuderScreenCap (WinCE)


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  • Dave
    Posted at 14:55h, 03 November Reply

    White collar crime…..

    • Mary Jo Barbosa
      Posted at 17:22h, 03 November Reply

      That came with a heavy tax bill for the Harper district.

  • Jim Strnad
    Posted at 08:36h, 05 November Reply

    Hey, it’s an Illinois thing. We must assume it’s corrupt until proven otherwise.

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