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May 20, 2024

DACC President Steve Nacco tells Board to disregard public, celebrates lawbreaker as “man of integrity” –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On November 5, 2018


In a recent Danville Area Community College (“DACC”) Board meeting, Board Members were basically instructed by DACC president Steve Nacco not to listen to concerns raised by citizens in attendance. Steve Nacco provided these instructions of censorship…prior to inviting the public to comment in public session. 

As in the month before, the issues of concern center around DACC’s Executive Vice-President, Instruction and Student Services, Danville, Illinois, Dave Kietzman and his 14-year participation on the Vermilion County Regional Airport Authority (VCRAA). At a previous DACC board meeting, copies of the laws in which Dave Keitzman is believed to be in conflict with were provide to the board. If the board members bothered to read it, we are confident they could not honestly allow this to continue.

Here is what we got out of the president’s ranting (even though all of it is wrong):

  • regular people have no right to read or interpret Illinois Statute (how dare they even talk)
  • the college’s attorney knows what to do (even if he can’t read and comprehend simple statutory language, and even if he is conflicted in any interpretation he might render)
  • firing someone with a statutory conflict violates federal law (LOL)
  • men of integrity violate state law with impunity – and get celebrated for it

Our answer to what Nacco said:

  • It does not take a law license to read, understand, and interpret Illinois statutes. If the law says a person cannot be appointed to an Airport Authority if he is an officer or employee of a unit of local government, how can anyone misinterpret what it says – law degree or not? IE: If Bob is a part-time janitor at the public library he cannot be appointed to the Airport Authority. Period. Same goes for executive vice presidents of a community college.
  • The college’s attorney is wrong. Have him sign his name to a legal opinion so we can show the world how wrong he is. He is also rendering an opinion when he has a potential conflict of interest in representing the law breaker in both positions that conflict with each other. Nothing in the law requires or even suggests, that you must wait on any decision or letter from IDOT to identify Kietzman is holding statutorily prohibited positions
  • Firing someone for a statutory conflict of interest that he refuses to address does not violate any law; federal or state. He should be terminated for the conflict, not for his age. That was a cop-out used to confuse the board members and the public, and this president knows it
  • If Kietzman was a man of integrity, he could surely use his vast knowledge to read and interpret the law which prohibits his holding of both positions. Instead, he is making the attorney and the college president look like the fools they are for insisting he is doing nothing wrong when the plain language of the statute says he is

What is puzzling…is why the Board has yet to deal with the seriousness of this concern…in light of the facts. There were no agenda items regarding this matter in the board meeting and yet, we believe DACC itself is violating Illinois Law by continuing to compensate Dave Keitzman. (As determined by existing case law which mandates automatic ouster of the first position held when accepting a conflicting position – this is an operation of law with no court action needed).

It is also interesting to see how DACC resources, based on the president’s comments, are now being used to delay action and protect the continued presence of Dave Kietzman.

Finally, what is this teaching our young students; that it’s OK to violate the law as long as you are a “man of integrity?”

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  • jannie
    Posted at 09:04h, 05 November

    Not only this Board, but others I know of behave somewhat similar – public input sections – the park board president watches his watch to make sure you haven’t gone over your 3 minutes – does he event listen? “Can’t you wrap it up”. We get it – you don’t like what you hear. Can’t the secretary (not elected member) time this.
    I know of times that the Board Attorney made inaccurate statements to Board Members to satisfy his own agenda. And, other inaccurate states by a Board’s Attorney – Not only is the blame on these who make the wrong statements, but the Board Members who stand idely by following like sheep never questioning or researching for themselves.

  • Robert O. Bogue
    Posted at 09:59h, 05 November

    Having DACC’s counsel protect the illegal actions of a faculty member seems more like an abuse of public funds that a justifiable application of same. President Nacco is absolutely wrong in the handling of this matter: his primary focus should be in protecting the greater interests of DACC and not those of his good old pal Dave Kietzman.

    Kietzman is, and has been acting in his own personnel interests alone…working outside his employment with DACC and outside the law…and then bringing this problem to DACC.
    The College’s attorney whom also serves VCRAA (there’s the potential conflict John mentioned) has known about Kietzman’s illegal service on the VCRAA board since at least June. DACC has known since August. Two VCRAA board members with similar issues already resigned when confronted with the facts. Where is Kietzman’s integrity?

    If this is how President Nacco functions, then; would he; have a problem dedicating “college counsel” resources to protecting faculty members whom are pedophiles, felons, child molesters, rapists, and wife beaters proven to be in violation of Illinois law? I think not. Parking, speeding tickets and other lawless actions occurring outside employment for all DACC faculty wouldn’t seem to be much of a problem either.

    DACC Board members: those that do not believe in president Nacco’s calls to censorship: need to step up to the plate. They need to read the laws that were provided to them and show some leadership. Your smart enough to do this. Don’t be afraid, it’s your job, do it.

    Formally dismissing Kietzman for his illegal activities and dishonor he’s brought to DACC would save this college over $151,800.00 in funds and future embarrassment.
    Dismissing the college’s attorney in favor of a firm that doesn’t have any potential conflicts of interests also seems like one hell of an idea. Hard telling how much tax payer money could be saved there.
    Providing better training and guidance (or dismissal) to Steve Nacco (a former New York City Transit Authority employee, as touted in his attack on the pubic) seems like another entirely reasonable action. I would think, for $182,000.00 and benefits DACC could find someone that doesn’t believe in censorship.