COD candidate: No-bid contracts given to foundation board members
Editor's note: Due to the large number of candidates in the COD board race, we're not always able to include all their positions in every election-related story we publish, but we encourage them to post comments at the end of this story to provide their views.
A College of DuPage board candidate says he's concerned the school gave no-bid contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars to businesses that employ members of the COD Foundation Board.
Dan Bailey, one of the 12 candidates vying for three open seats on the board that oversees the Glen Ellyn-based community college, says he'll ask trustees during their Thursday night meeting to create a "very strict policy" that would prevent foundation board members from receiving contracts with the college in the future.
"In recent years, vendors, including COD Foundation Board members, have received large non-disclosed, non-bid business from the present (college) board," Bailey said in a statement.
Bailey specifically named Herricane Graphics, Roger C. Marquardt & Co., Wight & Company, Fuchs & Roselli Ltd., Power Construction, and Bison Gear & Engineering. Herricane Graphics, for example, received contracts totaling $227,157, according to Bailey.
"I don't think it's appropriate for them (foundation members) to be receiving no-bid contracts, because there's an appearance of conflict of interest," Bailey said.
College spokesman Joe Moore said in an email that the school doesn't comment on the statements of candidates for office.
The College of DuPage Foundation raises money to increase educational and cultural opportunities for the college community, according to its website.
COD has come under fire in recent months after its board approved giving college President Robert Breuder a controversial $762,868 buyout as part of a deal that will have him retire in March 2016, about three years before his existing contract's expiration date.
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.
Bailey's statement was released a week after COD board Chairman Erin Birt issued a memo that, in part, appoints two members of the seven-person COD board to review the foundation board.
She assigned trustees Dianne McGuire and Allison O'Donnell to develop recommendations regarding the COD Foundation Board.
"We will review the foundation board's relationships between its members and the college and the procurement processes of the foundation board," Birt wrote.
Birt said the appointments are for 60 days, because there may be transition on the board after the April 7 election.
The other candidates vying for three seats on the board are Claire Ball of Addison, Dave Carlin of Naperville, incumbent Nancy Svoboda of Downers Grove, incumbent Kim Savage of Darien, Joseph M. Wozniak of Naperville, Matt Gambs of Naperville, Sandra Pihos of Glen Ellyn, Deanne Mazzochi of Elmhurst, Frank Napolitano of Bloomingdale, Roger Kempa of Darien and Charles Bernstein of Wheaton.