DuPage Co. (ECWd) -
In July of 2016, we came across some information that pointed to a Robert Breuder being a trustee of a nonprofit called the Lincoln Foundation.
Company Name: THE LINCOLN FOUNDATION
Name: BREUDER, ROBERT L
Title: BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEMBER
Address: 1415 W DIEHL RD MS 514
NAPERVILLE, IL 60563-1139
Phone: (630) 637-1595
We cross-referenced that foundation with the COD Checkbook and did not find any payments to this foundation. We also checked IRS 990 forms and were unable to confirm that Robert Breuder, then President of COD was a trustee on this non-profit.
The recent counterclaim filing by the College points to the Lincoln Foundation and alleged that Breuder was a trustee. Further investigation discovered some very interesting things that we missed before, partially due to a name change by the Foundation.
We identified 2012, 2013, IRS 990 filings for "Illinois Performance Excellence", and a 2014 IRS 990 filing for "Illinois Performance Excellence, CO Bradley University". The 2012 and 2013 filings reflect a Naperville address, however, the 2014 filing showed a new address, 1501 W. Bradley, Peoria, IL 61625
Of interest, the 2014 filing reflects a zero dollar balance, a transfer of $30,351.00 to the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center located at 1501 W. Bradley, Peoria, IL 61625, the same address listed as the Illinois Performance Excellence nonprofit. Why would two non-profits have the same address? Why did this Naperville non-profit basically shut down in 2014 and transfer their funds and make their address the same as the recipient of those funds?
The 2014 IRS 990 filings for Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center does, in fact, reflect the same address, 1501 W. Bradley, Peoria, IL 61625.
All attempts to verify if Robert Bruder was ever a trustee of the Lincoln Foundation, now called Illinois Performance Excellence, had failed so we assume that COD has something in their possession that validates their assertion.
What we have verified is that during Breuder's term as President, COD provided $30,050.00 to the Illinois Performance Excellence nonprofit. The payments and their description are from records obtained by Open The Books from their prior records requests to COD. We were unable to find any minutes, board packets or board votes on any of these expenditures.
Payments began in 2010, however, we have been unable to locate IRS 990 filings prior to 2012 which may reflect Breuder being a trustee. Any such role as a trustee would have to be approved by the Board Chairman according to the terms in Breuder's alleged employment contract. We have been unable to find any such approval based on prior FOIA requests for such approvals.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the counterclaim as it appears to be a clear conflict of interest if Breuder was a trustee and provided funding to this non-profit without any board knowledge or disclosure. It appears this nonprofit ceased operation in 2014, the same year Breuder's $20 Million dollar email was exposed, although they do still have an active website.
COD Board Meeting video reflects former board Chairman Dave Carlin taking great pride in the College being selected by this non-profit and claims they were chosen to be part of a pilot program. See the 1:44:28 mark of the board meeting video at this link for Carlin's comments.
We have one question in relation to Carlin's claim that the College was selected. Were you really selected or did you pay for the participation?
Looking at the payments and listening to Carlin's presentation, he talks of the site visit he participated in with this organization. Payments reflect a fee was paid for that site visit in September of 2012, a month before Carlin's comments. The College paid them to be on site, which hardly points to being selected. Prior to that site visit, payments reflect both fees and exam training for four COD employees. We have filed an FOIA for all of those billing records to better understand what the taxpayer was paying for.
So where they really selected or was this nothing more than paying an organization for a future award recognition program to make the college look better than it actually was? Or was it just another means of Breuder putting another notch on his resume?
Of additional interest is information contained in his fifteen-page 2014 Resume. The resume claims he is, in fact, a trustee of the Lincoln Foundation from 2010-2013. It also reflects he is a "Licensee of Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation and a member of the Finance Committee, 2010- Present". And, just as we reported in this article, he is a "Member of the US Bank Advisory Board, 2013-Present"
How special that under Breuder's term as president a small fortune was paid to organizations that he was directly tied to in his private capacity, by his own admission.
Payments to the Foundation during Breuder's term as President of COD.