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June 19, 2024

College of DuPage – Lump of Coal For Christmas?

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On December 13, 2022

DuPage Co. (ECWd) –

Yesterday a federal jury in Chicago returned a NOT GUILTY verdict ($0.00) in the wrongful termination and defamation lawsuit brought by Principal John Thuet against Chicago Public Schools (CPS). Thuet’s case was filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (located in downtown Chicago).

Three weeks ago, the Trustees for the College of DuPage (COD) approved a $4.0 million settlement in favor of Dr. Robert Breuder, a former Senior Administrator, to resolve a similar wrongful termination and defamation lawsuit filed against the College of DuPage.   Breuder’s lawsuit was also filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (in downtown Chicago).

The disparate outcomes (zero dollars for CPS Principal Thuet versus a staggering four million dollar payout to COD’s President Breuder) raise some interesting questions, since 1) both lawsuits were initiated by similar plaintiffs (both plaintiffs were senior Illinois school administrators), 2) both lawsuits involved Illinois School Districts as defendants, 3) both lawsuits contained similar allegations for wrongful termination and defamation, 4) both suits sought similar damages of reputational harm,  5) both suits were filed in the same federal courthouse in Chicago, 6) both suits were litigated in the same federal courthouse in Chicago,  7) jurors are selected from the same geographic area and 8) both lawsuits were resolved within 30 days of one another.

How does one case get resolved from start to finish in a jury trial in just under three years yet the Breuder v. COD case dragged on for over 7 1/2 years before reaching a settlement?

Was the Breuder settlement-wise or wasteful?   Illinois citizens must now determine for themselves whether the Trustees for the College met their fiduciary duty when they authorized the settlement or whether the COD Board deserves a lump of coal this Christmas.

Not Guilty Verdict reported here:

COD Settlement with Dr. Breuder for $4.0 million reported here: https://www.cbsnews.com/chicago/news/college-of-dupage-former-president-lawsuit-breuder/

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3 Comments
  • Taxpayer
    Posted at 14:50h, 13 December Reply

    Was the COD settlement covered by insurance?

  • Mags
    Posted at 09:34h, 14 December Reply

    The current COD board is a disgrace. It is fiscally irresponsible. As far as I am concerned, Breuder should have served jail time for his actions while he oversaw COD. He is obviously and insider, with inside connections protecting him.

  • Pete Marwick
    Posted at 13:28h, 15 December Reply

    The current COD trustees must have seen the writing on the wall and decided to cut their losses. $9 million spent in legal fees, plus the $4 million settlement due to the old board trying to stop a $760 thousand payout. Even though it appears insurance has covered the payments, what a waste.

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