DuPage Co. (ECWd) -
In Part 1 we pointed to apparent collusion with the College of DuPage and the attorney for Carla Burkhart and Herricane Graphics. When we first caught wind of what was going on we published this article January 27th, 2016 which apparently was read by a few COD trustees who had questions the following day at their Board Meeting (video below). From our investigation, we now have evidence to the point of Burkhart's attorney actually drafting a response for the college to send to IDFPR to assist in her defense, all in secrecy from COD legal counsel.
May 15, 2015 – Josh Feagans, Attorney for Carla Burkhart, dba Herricane Graphics, sends an email to Thomas Glaser and Bruce Schmiedl.
“As you might be aware, I represent Carla Burkhart and Herricane Graphics, Inc. believe that Mrs. Burkhart has advised you that there is currently pending a Rule To Show Cause against her and Herricane Graphics with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation concerning the use of AIA contracts intended for architects by COD and Herricane Graphics relating to graphic design and sign installation agreements. The IDFPR is concerned that by virtue of the contracts at issue, Herricane Graphics and/or Mrs. Burkhart somehow represented or asserted they were architects or the contracts otherwise called for the performance of architectural services. After reviewing the documents and meeting with the IDFPR, they are satisfied that the contracts did not involve architectural services, but need assurances that COD was aware that Herricane Graphics and Mrs. Burkhart were not architects when the contracts were executed or otherwise. I understand that this is, in fact, true and that you have indicated a willingness to execute letters to that effect. By virtue of the letters, the Rule to Show Cause will be dismissed.”
If Feagans' statement is true, that IDFPR simply needs assurances that COD was aware that Herricane Graphics and Ms. Burkhart were not architects when the contracts were executed or otherwise, wouldn't it be best for them to validate any such claim coming from COD? Such as requiring any such claims to be in the form of an Affidavit under oath and penalty of perjury on its truthfulness? In this case, IDFPR failed to even speak with COD legal counsel on the matter. That is an utter failure from a prosecutorial standpoint and that agency should be held accountable for such failures, which we will continue to expose in this series of articles.
Note that Feagans is not communicating with the attorneys for the College of DuPage, but instead with Senior Administration personnel. Why was COD legal counsel avoided in this matter as clearly this is a state prosecution of a claimed violation of the law by IDFPR? Does the fact the election had just taken place and a new in-house counsel was hired to clean up the mess created by these very Senior Administrators the reason they were not included?
A key statement in Feagans' communication raises more flags and appears to point to collusion between COD personnel and Burkhart / Herricane Graphics.
“I understand that this is, in fact, true and that you have indicated a willingness to execute letters to that effect”
How can he "understand" this?
We have Tom Glaser's e-mail asking Burkhart if she has an architect in her employ, which indicates he knows, at least, she was not one.
From: Glaser, Thomas <[email protected]>
To: Carla Burkhart <[email protected]
Sent: Sun, Jan 4, 2015, 9:07 am
Happy New Year!
Do you have a licensed architect in your employ?
Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G L TE smartphone
Schmeidl was not even employed at COD when the contract was executed so we know he had no idea of what was represented by Burkhart at the time of the contract signing.
There is ZERO written communication that points to any conversation of a willingness to execute the letters so that means phone communications would have led him to “understand” the position he took. Who did he speak with to give him that understanding? We know it was not legal counsel for COD as they were kept in the dark on this whole matter and we suspect for a reason.
Of additional concern, Feagans position on this much-needed letter from COD specifically references “when the contracts were executed or otherwise.” Video evidence confirms Schmiedl was not employed at COD when the contract in question was executed as we pointed out above. In addition, we will prove many other inconsistencies, if not outright lies, in statements by Bruce Schmiedl during questions raised by the Board of Trustees January 28th public meeting.
January 28th Board meeting - Schmiedl's statement to the board:
“I was contacted by a gentleman with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulations, asked whether or not I had any knowledge of whether Herricane Graphics had in fact ever represented themselves to the college as being architects or providing Architectural services.”
All indications are he was NOT contacted by IDFPR! The support for that is in the first sentence of his own letter he claimed to have "crafted" to them.
“Pursuant to your request, as relayed to us by Attorney Joshua Feagans in relation to the above referenced matter, please be advised that I am the Director of Facilities Planning and Development for the College of DuPage. I am familiar with the company operated by Mrs. Carla Burkhart, Herricane Graphics, Inc. Throughout my dealings with Mrs. Burkhart and Herricane Graphics, Inc., I was aware that neither Mrs. Burkhart, nor Herricane Graphics, Inc. was architects. Furthermore, to the best of my knowledge, neither Mrs. Burkhart, nor Herricane Graphics, Inc. has ever held themselves out as architects.”
"as relayed to us by Attorney Joshua Feagans"
Had Schmiedl been contacted by IDFPR and asked to send such a letter as he has insinuated in the above video, would he not have drafted his letter stating, “pursuant to your request” ? Instead, it stated “as relayed to us by Attorney Joshua Feagans” in that first line!
In addition, he failed to tell the IDFPR that he was not even employed by COD when the contract was executed. Since the concern was about the situation when the contracts were signed, his reference to "my dealings" is disingenuine at best because his dealings would not have known what was represented in April of 2012 when the contract was executed.
As if all this is not disturbing enough, when Feagans was asked by Schmiedl if he had any documentation from IDFPR where they requested the letter from COD, Feagans responds by telling Schmiedl the request was made "informally" as part of a discussion to resolve the case. (Click here for the email communications with this information)
Since when is a prosecution of violations of state law "informal"?
In Part III we will expose the communications and evidence that Bruce Shmiedl mislead the board of trustees with the claim he crafted a letter to IDFPR and we will provide the actual draft letter that was provided to him by Burkhart's attorney and the one Shmiedl issued to the state.
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