The Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulations (IDFPR) is the state agency that investigates violations of statutes pertaining to certain licensed professions doing business in the State of Illinois.
I filed two complaints with them in December of 2015 regarding Carla Burkhart and her company Herricane Graphics which is outlined in this article.
We have now discovered that one case was closed and no action taken. By all indications the second complaint has either been overlooked or ignored. In regards to the first complaint regarding a 2012 contract the College of DuPage had with Herricane Graphics, a COD Foundation member-owned company, we understand IDFPR has closed the case with no action taken regarding Carla Burkhart being named as the Architect on the contract, which she is not an Architect.
The records we obtained recently raise serious questions regarding the process used by IDFPR to prosecute the case. Due to the complexity of this chain of events this will have to be a multi-part series covering key details in each article.
A rule to show cause was issued to Carla Burkhart, d/b/a. Herricane Graphics which can be read at this link.
By all indications, the old tactic of “bob and weave” by Josh Feagans, Attorney for Carla Burkhart – d/b/a Herricane Graphics, accomplished its mission.
For starters, the prosecutor for IDFPR appears to have rolled over and accepted Feagans arguments as presented, and instead of getting to the bottom of the matter, he chose not to do the hard work to properly investigate the allegations.
Key points of contention are highlighted in Feagans response and we will break those down in this article for clarity of the game being played.
- “Burkhart denies doing business as a sole proprietor or under the name "Hurricane Graphics.
Note the spelling of Hurricane graphics in that statement. “Herricane”, spelled with an “e”, is the proper spelling. Everyone knows Carla Burkhart is the president of Herricane Graphics and her attorneys own response confirms she is doing business as Herricane Graphics. However in this particular disclaimer he denies that she is doing business as “Hurricane" Graphics”.
Yep, I agree, she is not doing business as H“u”rricane Graphics. But she is doing it as “Herricane Graphics”. This is a game played by lawyers, not just a misspelling. Deny, Deny, Deny. Doing that forces the opposing counsel to work and disprove the claim. The more work you can load up on opposing counsel the better chance you have of the other side throwing up their hands and rolling over.
- “Assuming arguendo that the allegations denied above relate to the April 19, 2012, contract between College of DuPage and Herricane”
Sadly, the IDFPR failed to address the 2014 contract, thus the direct response to the 2012 contract and total avoidance of even referencing the 2014 contract. The 2014 contract is the most recent contract in which Herricane Graphics is named as the Architect on the Construction Management contract. That being the case, a second complaint was filed this week specifically focusing on the 2014 contract which was ignored by IDFPR in the original complaint.
- “Burkhart is not a party to the contract”
Deny, Deny, Deny. Burkhart signed the contract and is the President of the company named in the contract. Denying she is a party to the contract makes the IDFPR prove otherwise. That creates work for them and clearly they did not want to work very hard on this case.
- “It is not a contract for architectural services.”
Clearly the IDFPR felt the contract was in fact tied to architectural services otherwise they would not have made their Rule to Show Cause. Denying the contract is for architectural services forces the IDFPR to prove that it is in fact as they believed. Note that the law has no reference to the content of the contract being a determining factor regarding a violation. The contract names Herricane Graphics as the Architect and Carla Burkhart signed it. IDFPR failed to apply the law in our opinion and the opinion of many other legal minds.
This is the contract with the obligations of the Architect highlighted. As you can see, there are over 300 references to the Architects obligations in this contract that attorney Feagans says is not a contract for architectural services.
- “Burkhart signed the subject contract as President of Herricane, not individually or under the name "Hurricane."
Once again, the use of a different spelling for Herricane Graphics is used. What is interesting is how this acknowledgment points to her doing business as Herricane Graphics. Cross that with the previous "bob and weave" in the denial of her "doing business as a sole proprietor or under the name "Hurricane Graphics."
How hard would it have been to clarify and disprove the claim? This is yet another claim that had to be addressed which takes work and IDFPR failed to do.
- “CARLA BURKHART and HERRICANE GRAPHICS, INC., deny the allegations asserted, deny that any Rule To Show Cause should be granted, deny that any order to Cease and Desist is appropriate or should be entered, requests that this matter be dismissed in their favor and for such other and further relief as is equitable and just.”
What did I say about deny, deny, deny? Clearly, denying everything forces the opposing side to get to the bottom of the matter which takes time and effort.
We will expose what those efforts were in Part II of this multi-part story that will include evidence of collusion with Burkhart’s attorney and College of DuPage employees to the point of Burkhart's attorney actually drafting a response for the college to send to IDFPR to assist in her defense, all in secrecy from COD legal counsel.
In addition, we have video evidence that points to key players in this mess lying to the board of trustees.
Stay tuned as the future articles are going to expose what may well prove to be a substantial problem for some people both at IDFPR and COD.
Call to Action: If anyone has ANY information to alleged document shredding that has taken place at the College of DuPage please let us know!
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