DuPage Co (ECWd) -
We exposed what had the appearance of an orchestrated data purge taking place at the College of DuPage and the potential legal problems related to records destruction that was taking place in two past articles found here and here.
In an effort to see if we could find a pattern of activity for such actions we reached out to the Local Records Commission again and obtained all the disposal certificates for Harper Community College during Dr. Breuder's time in charge there.
As we analyzed and compared we realized that the College of DuPage may have some additional concerns that we will share before we get into the comparison research.
COD obtained this amended authorization that is the first record in which e-mails are included as part of item #67 pertaining to destruction disposition under application 81-286. Note the year the state included emails into the record destruction authorization.
January 4, 2011, is when an email destruction timeline of 12 months was established. Since this is the FIRST document establishing such a destruction pattern we must ask, under what authority did COD destroy e-mails in 2009 and 2010? Since approval was never given until January 4, 2011, it appears those destructions were not in compliance with the law.
Chuck Currier, we believe in an orchestrated plan based on information in emails, began a distinctive email destruction program that ramped up the month after Kathy Hamilton was elected in a landslide victory in 2013. After her election and appointment in April 2013, it is clear the very next month was the first month in 5 years that three separate requests to destroy emails were made in a single month.
Were the questions she began asking an indicator that they may need to get rid of records? Whatever the reason was, it appears to be an established destruction pattern that was inconsistent with the previous 5 years for COD. The question many are asking is why in 2013 did destruction of emails get ramped up?
Looking at Harper Community College records we found what we would consider telling information. COD had requested to destroy emails 54 times in an eight-year period. Take a guess how many requests to destroy emails Harper submitted in an eleven year period.
Yes, in an eleven-year time frame Harper College never requested email destruction authorization from the state. What they did do appears to be a normal, and customary destructions that fit a pattern that was consistent every year, year after year, for ordinary and routine records. Reviewing all of those certificates of destruction we were unable to find a single e-mail destruction request.
So again, looking at the past practice of Rober Breuder's leadership at Harper and the College of DuPage, which spans 18 years, (11 at Harper and 7 at COD), e-mail destruction ramped up the very month after Kathy Hamilton, former COD Board of Trustees Chairman, took office in April of 2013. This escalated destruction pattern continued in spite of multiple legal cases against the college and their receipts of multiple County and US Attorney Supbeanos in 2015.
Although we may never know the reason for this escalated destruction pattern it's clear the pattern established in 2013-2015 happen for a reason. Is this destruction pattern what it means when we hear, "elections have consequences"? Were the faculty and the citizen involvement in filing FOIA requests for information the trigger? Unless an independent forensic recovery of destroyed emails is performed we suspect we will never know the real reason.
As you can see below in comparing the two colleges destruction records chart we created, it does appear this was an intentional action to hide something. I say that because we already know both Tom Glaser, former COD Treasurer, and Robert Brueder, the former President, performed a factory reset on their computers, thus wiping them clean of any data they placed on them and did so in spite of the issued records retention/litigation hold resolution passed by the Trustees April 30th of 2015. If they were willing to do that, in spite of US Attorney subpoenas, County Subpoenas, Board resolutions and court actions, I don't put it past them to destroy potentially incriminating e-mails.
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