Subpoenas seek College of DuPage records on Breuder, foundation board member

DuPage County prosecutors are seeking years of records concerning the spending and employment contract of College of DuPage President Robert Breuder, according to copies of grand jury subpoenas released Tuesday by the Glen Ellyn-based school.

The DuPage County state's attorney's office has issued three subpoenas to the college, two dated Feb. 5 and one dated March 19, concerning Breuder as well as a member of the COD Foundation board. Sources have said a separate subpoena was also issued to the college's fundraising arm, the College of DuPage Foundation, but that one has since been withdrawn by the state's attorney's office.

Among the three issued to the college, one February subpoena requested copies of all employment agreements, contracts, extensions and addendums pertaining to Breuder's employment at the college. It also asked for any minutes from meetings of the college's board of trustees pertaining to the approval of the president's employment, the number and issuer of all credit cards issued for Breuder's use, and any policies that detail the use and purpose of these credit cards.

The second February subpoena requested copies of all the college's employment agreements and contracts with COD Foundation board member Carla Burkhart and her company, Herricane Graphics. Among the requests, this subpoena called for any licensing documents provided to the college that show Burkhart or Herricane Graphics is licensed as a design firm or architect and copies of any invoices for a 2012 contract awarded to Herricane Graphics by the college.

Burkhart has come under fire recently from government watchdogs who have said the college paid her hundreds of thousands of dollars as part of two no-bid contracts that refer to her repeatedly as an architect even though she isn't licensed to be one.

The third and most recent subpoena, dated March 19, asked for documents relating to credit card accounts that are used by Breuder but paid for by the college or the COD Foundation, including copies of supporting documents to demonstrate the purpose of purchases made with the credit cards, reimbursable expense forms and receipts.

It also asked for copies of payments made by Breuder to the college for any credit card purchases, any college policies regarding expense reports, any correspondence between the college and Breuder concerning the credit cards, and Breuder's travel and local appointment schedule going back to Jan. 1, 2009.

Grand jury sessions have already been held for the first two subpoenas and a session for the third subpoena is scheduled for next week.

Earlier this week, sources with knowledge of the probe said the state's attorney's office's investigation into the college is unlikely to result in any criminal charges.

Three candidates running for the college's board have called for an independent, federal investigation of the college.

Dubbed the “Clean Slate,” candidates Deanne Mazzochi, Charles Bernstein and Frank Napolitano said in a statement Monday that the state's attorney's office, the college and the college's foundation share the same lobbyist.

“It is clear that when it comes to College of DuPage investigations, we need to do whatever we can to bolster the public trust and avoid even the appearance of impropriety,” the statement reads. “We call on the United States Department of Education to independently lead an investigation into the irregularities and improprieties that have been raised, particularly where people have risked so much to speak out.”

State's Attorney Robert Berlin responded with his own statement Monday.

“As is my long-standing standard policy, I neither confirm nor deny that an investigation is taking place,” Berlin said. “Regarding any allegation of a potential conflict of interest, my office would have no conflict into looking into any violations of the law at the College of DuPage or any other governmental entity.”

• Daily Herald staff writers Robert Sanchez and Justin Kmitch contributed to this report.

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  DuPage County prosecutors have issued three subpoenas to College of DuPage as part of an investigation into spending and the employment contract of the Glen Ellyn-based school's President Robert Brueder. Scott Sanders/, 2010
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