DuPage Co. (ECWd) -
What kind of weight should people give to Letters to Editors when those very letters are first reviewed and adapted to messaging that is preferred by, at the time, a sitting President of the College? Although the suggested edits were minor, they were, in fact, used in the final letter.
Recently obtained records reflect former College of DuPage President Robert Breuder provided key talking points through his secretary who used a private email account, [email protected] for sharing draft talking points for a Letter to the Editor submitted by former COD President Dr. Harold D. McAninch.
In 2014, Robert Breuder was exposed after an email obtained through an FOIA request by For the Good of Illinois disclosed an effort to get $20 Million Dollars that was no longer needed. That exposure led to Governor Quinn withholding those funds. This now famous email was the beginning of multiple criminal investigations into COD and past actions by its President and employees.
Breuder tried to justify the need as reported by the Daily Herald in this July 2, 2014 publication. The following day Governor Quinn chose to withhold the funding.
August 9, 2014, the Daily Herald ran a Letter to the Editor that was reported to be from former COD President Dr. Harold D. McAninch. We assume they did not know of Breuder's involvement in the drafting of that published letter, being reviewed and drafted as early as July 31, 2014, by Robert Breuder.
It was clear Breuder was going to work every angle possible to obtain funding that his own email confirmed was not needed to include participating in letters to the editor of the local newspaper.
May we suggest a policy change on such letters, such as they must be original and not submitted in coordination with the public body who is pursuing a specific agenda?