DuPage Co. (ECWd) -
Below is the actual complaint filed in the DuPage County courts today by Bob Berlin, DuPage County States Attorney. The complaint alleges many of the same issues we uncovered during our investigation at the College of DuPage.
January 8th, 2016 at 10:56 PM I informed the States Attorney's office of my findings and asked that the matter be looked into. That was a Friday night. According to the complaint, indications are clear that he was made aware of my complaint and has taken appropriate action. Monday the 11th of January, 2016 is the date he points to as when information, if true, would point to an Open Meetings Act Violation.
"On or about January 11, 2016, the State’s Attorney became aware of a statement contained in a pleading filed in a matter pending before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, which if true, suggested that the BOARD OF TRUSTEES committed a violation of the Open Meetings Act in February or March 2014."
As we have reported, the board did not want to extend Breuder's contract, as is confirmed in the complaint, however they did anyway? Why they would do that is a question we have yet to get answered.
"....that it did not wish to extend the administrator’s employment contract for another year beyond its already existing term."
In a very strange communication from the Board legal counsel, Respicio F. Vazquez of Franczek Radelet P.C, to the board of trustees, the complaint reflects he stated, "I don't want a vote in a closed", yet his next instruction to them was a complete contradiction.
"so why don’t we just raise hands as to who would be willing to authorize the Chair to extend the contract"
Is there anyone on the planet that believes raising your hand if you're willing to authorize the chair to extend the contract is not a vote?
"since we have raised hands, the record reflects we had a majority of four that would authorize the Chair to extend the contract".
The only way anything is authorized is by a vote. They clearly voted in closed session and he even confirms a majority of four voted!
"Nevertheless, the BOARD OF TRUSTEES participated in a vote which contemplated the affirmative action of extending the administrator’s contract"
"the showing of hands was nevertheless a vote resulting in a “final action” within the meaning of the Open Meetings Act since the BOARD OF TRUSTEES did not subsequently repeat the vote in an open session. Because the BOARD OF TRUSTEES took final action in closed session, it violated Section 2(e) of the Act."
How is it possible for two attorney's, Erin Birt and Respicio F. Vazquez of Franczek Radelet P.C, to not understand that the actions of raising hands to authorize action was not a vote? Based on the e-mail communications we exposed in
Based on the e-mail communications we exposed in this article, I suspect they knew exactly what they were doing and figured no one would ever uncover the shenanigans they pulled.
We believe this maneuver was a step to extend a contract and then enter into negotiations to buy Breuder out to leave early. The question for the States Attorney and FBI to figure out is if there was a payday in it for those who orchestrated the event.
We hope at some point the portions of the closed session that violated the OMA are released so the public can hear the truth.
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