COD trustee Hamilton calls for meeting to approve state audit

College of DuPage Trustee Kathy Hamilton is asking officials to hold an emergency board meeting early next week to authorize payment for a state audit of the beleaguered school's finances.

Hamilton sent an email Friday to board Chairman Erin Birt and COD President Robert Breuder urging them to schedule a meeting for no later than Tuesday “for the sole purpose of agreeing” to the terms and conditions necessary to facilitate a state audit that would look at the community college's finances dating to fiscal 2011.

Several state lawmakers sent a letter to Birt earlier this week asking the COD board to comply with the rules for a deeper audit as outlined by Auditor General Bill Holland and to pay for the probe that could cost as much as $234,000.

Birt said Friday that no special board meeting has been scheduled.

“Several weeks ago the college invited the auditor general to review our financial documents, and that offer still stands,” Birt said in an email.

College spokesman Joseph Moore could not be reached for comment.

Hamilton, a frequent critic of Breuder and what she believes has been questionable financial management at the school, said she wants the audit to begin as soon as possible.

“With more than $170 million in the bank, there is no question that College of DuPage can afford to pay for the state's investigation of Dr. Breuder's performance as our chief executive officer,” Hamilton wrote.

COD's board of trustees has come under fire for giving Breuder a $762,868 package to retire about three years earlier than his existing contract's expiration date. Hamilton was the sole trustee to vote against the deal.

Several state lawmakers have proposed measures to prevent other public institutions from greenlighting similar deals.

The college also has been criticized after a former part-time employee was charged with stealing more than $200,000 from the campus radio station over multiple years.

“An institutional requirement from the Illinois General Assembly would strengthen independent governance,” Hamilton wrote. “Every community college district needs an independent audit committee that reports to the board as a whole and the public, without interference from staff.”

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