College of DuPage (ECWD) -
"Because we've always done it this way" is not a valid excuse!
The Daily Herald quotes Dave Carlin, former College of DuPage board chairman and one-term college trustee, as saying that Breuder's contract "has always had an automatic rollover provision in it., and that his contracts were automatically extended for an additional year unless trustees acted to terminate the pacts." They quote him again in another article saying the same thing (here).
Carlin also claimed the November 2008 vote to hire Breuder was done "in accordance with the Open Meetings Act."
That is 100% false.
The agenda item for that meeting was for an appointment of a President. The action taken was to agree to a contract that was not placed on the agenda. An appointment to a position is a far cry from agreeing to a contract that contains language in direct conflict with the law.
Additionally, Carlin stated that "The Board of Trustees did not provide Dr. Breuder with written notice of intent to terminate in 2011," going on to claim that the contract was automatically extended for an additional year due to the board not notifying him of intent to terminate.
We wrote about this contract and adenda issue back in November of 2014 (here).
"by mutual agreement"
In his original contract, on page 2, paragraph number B. 4.: "The termination date of this Agreement may be extended by mutual agreement with or without modification of this salary provision."
That is not anything close to being an "automatic extension", because it requires a mutual agreement, and mutual agreements to extend contracts are an expenditure of public funds and must be voted and approved by the board of trustees in an open public meeting, properly noticed with proper agenda. Something that Dave Carlin failed to do.
Paragraph "F" (page 4), which does purport to contain the automatic extension is unenforceable and violates the open meetings act. "No final action may take place in closed session" - a contract cannot authorize a violation of law and this paragraph is therefore invalid. Extensions not voted on in public are likewise not valid extensions.
It is obvious, by the former board's attempt at extending the contract without proper notice on the agenda, that there was no automatic extension, and they failed to follow the law on the extension they attempted to conduct. The AG agreed the vote and agenda was improper and violated the law. Carlin's response to the AG ruling tells us all we need to know about Dave Carlin. "it was not a binding opinion"
This is not the only violation of law under the Carlin chairmanship. Bob Berlin, DuPage County State's Attorney wrote him a letter on another violation and demanded the board follow the Open Meetings Act by placing an item voted on improperly, onto a future agenda. We covered that in this article.
"Because we've always done it this way" is not a valid excuse.
May we suggest Dave Carlin remove himself from all public office positions and Breuder be terminated for cause ASAP! It's time to move forward with a focus on education for the students at COD at a cost appropriate with peoples expectations.