DuPage Co. (ECWd) –
Over the last year we have laid out numerous reasons Dr. Breuder’s contract was invalid, from secret extensions to numerous other Open Meetings Act violations as part of their “approval” process. Our position on the matter mirrors some of the same arguments put forth by College of DuPage attorneys and to their credit, they included the Edgar County case from the 1800s in which a board cannot tie the hands of future boards.
All great arguments well grounded in law, however, you never know what is going through the mind of a judge or a jury when it comes time to make a decision. One must ask, if the courts rule against COD based on those arguments, is their any other argument that can be made to ensure the people keep their hard earned tax dollars instead of paying Breuder his golden parachute?
One need not look any further than the Illinois Community College Act.
(110 ILCS 805/7-14) (from Ch. 122, par. 107-14)
Sec. 7-14. No contract may be made or expense or liability incurred by the board, by any member or committee of the board, or by any person for or in its behalf, notwithstanding the expenditure may have been ordered by the board, unless an appropriation therefor has been previously made. Neither the board, nor any member or committee, officer, head of any department or bureau, or employee thereof may during a fiscal year expend or contract to be expended any money, incur any liability, or enter into any contract which by its terms involves the expenditure of money for any of the purposes for which provision is made in the annual budget, in excess of the amounts appropriated in the annual budget. Any contract, verbal or written, made in violation of this Section is void as to the board, and no moneys belonging to the board may be paid on that contract. This Section does not prevent the making of lawful contracts for the construction of buildings, the purchase of insurance, or the leasing of realty, space and equipment, the terms of which conform with the requirements of this Act, or the making of lawful employment contracts and purchase orders the terms of which exceed one year.
The last sentence of the paragraph talks about not preventing the making of lawful employment contracts…the terms of which exceed one year, and we believe a severance agreement is not an employment contract and in this case does not exceed one year. Additionally, the closed session recordings DuPage County State’s Attorney is asking for may point to the making of an unlawful contract extension, which would also make the severance moot.
To date we have been unable to find any appropriation designated in the budget for Robert Breuder’s $763,000.00 golden parachute. If no appropriation was made in the budget then the action by the Board to enter a contract (4th addendum) appears to be void as outlined by statute.
Since Trustee Diane McGuire is so insistent that nothing has been done wrong and there is no corruption at COD, we challenge her to present the line item appropriation in the budget for the $763,000.00 severance payment she voted on in January of 2015.
If no such appropriation is found in the budget then the 4th addendum, which Breuder is considering as a contract, appears to be void according to the law. Although we did not see this argument in the legal briefs for COD, we would hope that a hard look into this particular section of the statute be reviewed in the event the courts rule against them, which we doubt.
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