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April 24, 2024

College of DuPage – Erin Birt withheld critical documents from Trustee –

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On January 30, 2016

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

One can only wonder what goes through the mind of Erin Birt, College of DuPage Board Trustee. As an attorney, you would think she would understand the basics of attorney-client privilege. In addition, for a person who just filed a lawsuit against the college’s law firms for supposedly not sharing information with them, it appears we must once again expose her hypocrisy and expose why the past COD attorney involved in this exposure may have more problems.

Attorney-Client Privilege from the American Bar:

“A fundamental principle in the client-lawyer relationship is that, in the absence of the client’s informed consent, the lawyer must not reveal information relating to the representation. … This contributes to the trust that is the hallmark of the client-lawyer relationship.” A violation of the ethics rule may lead to disciplinary sanctions.”

In this case, the Board of Trustees is the client. Only the board, with a majority vote of those voting in a public meeting, may wave that privilege.

Take note, Erin Birt has never called for such a vote.

Now let’s go back in time to August of 2014 when the Breuder Board took action to censure former Trustee Kathy Hamilton. The censure was not made available prior to the meeting for the public to read and we know it was never provided to Kathy Hamilton, a Board member at the time.

August 19th, 2014 at 3:57pm, Respicio F. Vazquez, in his capacity as board attorney, sent the following privileged information to Mary Ann Millush, a person who is not the client of Respicio Vazquez.

“Attached is the final censure board resolution. Please do not distribute to anyone including the board members until the board meeting or unless directed by the Chair. Please let me know if you have any questions.”

Thanks, Res

For an attorney to clearly state in the e-mail that the information was attorney-client privileged, meaning it must not be shared with any other person than the client, is a little strange.  I think this might be problematic for the attorney but what do I know, I’m not an attorney.  I suspect the ARDC would take issue with this. However, this story gets better.

Erin Birt, an attorney by trade, has filed suit against COD’s law firms claiming she is not being provided information.

How special.

How does Ms. Birt explain the e-mails below which included the Censure of Kathy Hamilton, and were shared with certain board members but not all of them?  Specifically we know it was withheld from Kathy Hamilton. So the person claiming she has been denied access, has herself denied access to at least one other board member.

If that is not a clear definition of hypocrisy I don’t know what is.

Can it get any worse for the attorney, the very one McGuire is so desperate to bring back to COD? How is it that he is communicating privileged information not only with Mary Ann Millush, but also Monica Miller and Robert Breuder, of which none of them are the client, since the client is the Board of Trustees?

One can only wonder what goes through the mind of a person claiming they were denied access, when they have denied the same access to a trustee in their failed attempt to silence the lone voice who was willing to call them out for the wrongs being committed on the taxpayers.  We can only wonder what they are working so hard to cover up and conceal from the public.

As I said, you can’t make this stuff up!

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  • Dave
    Posted at 07:24h, 30 January

    She clearly thinks she is something she is not….

  • G. Barraclough
    Posted at 09:00h, 30 January

    “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

    -from Hamlet

  • David
    Posted at 09:42h, 30 January

    Thank you for posting this. I do not know how attorney Respicio F. Vazquez still has a law license. His should be clearly revoked.

    The whole censure matter was a disgrace which I imagine originated with Brueder and then the plan hatched with Erin Birt. The aim was to shut down Kathy Hamilton. The censure broke some many BOT and Illinois rules that the whole thing was a farce. Kathy help her own during the censure meeting. The whole thing backfired on Brueder, McGuire, and Vazquez.

    I find it most interesting that on Erin Birt’s attorney website that she advertises her skills as:

    – Discover the benefits of a non-adversarial approach to resolving personal and legal needs.
    – Learn how to take control of life and legal endeavors.
    – Experience the benefits of proactive collaborative solutions for family conflict.
    – Understand how to better manage stress and life transitions.

    Based on her actions as a COD trustee and former COD Board of Trustees chair, I find her advertisement in complete contradiction to her actions.

  • Mary
    Posted at 12:31h, 30 January

    Vazquez epitomizes the ‘Chicago Way’. His resume includes: General Counsel, Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), 2002-2004, General Counsel, City Colleges of Chicago &
    Assistant Attorney, Chicago Board of Education.

    He and his clients are exempt from the rule of law