Lawmakers want to look deeper into College of DuPage spending

  • State lawmakers have started moving toward approving a sweeping audit of College of DuPage, a move spurred by the severage package given to President Robert Breuder.

      State lawmakers have started moving toward approving a sweeping audit of College of DuPage, a move spurred by the severage package given to President Robert Breuder. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

 
 

State lawmakers on Thursday directed Illinois' top auditor to move forward with a wide-ranging audit of the College of DuPage, which would be paid for by the college.

The Glen Ellyn community college has been under scrutiny since the school gave a $762,868 severance package to President Robert Breuder earlier this year. The buyout deal spurred lawmakers and Illinois residents to question COD's past financial decisions.

The Illinois Auditor General Bill Holland would conduct the proposed audit. It was approved unanimously by the Illinois House and doesn't need further approval by the Senate or governor.

The audit is set to examine the college's financial activity as far back as 2009 and transactions associated with bond offerings as far back as 2007.

The original plan called for an audit of spending years 2011-2014, but the COD board of trustees requested the audit be expanded even further.

The expanded scope of the audit means the cost could go up, too.

COD agreed to pay for the audit, which previously had been estimated to cost as much as $234,000. State Rep. Jeanne Ives, a Wheaton Republican, said it could rise to about $300,000.

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"We look forward to meeting with the state auditor general and his staff in the near future to discuss the details of the performance audit," a letter from COD's board of trustees to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan said. "We intend to fully cooperate and pay for this performance audit."

Ives says Holland's familiarity with state law will bring valuable background to the investigation.

"I believe he's going to determine what procedures need to be put in place, what was done that was problematic and needs to be corrected, whether it's recalling some of that severance, whether it's getting back money that was spent that shouldn't have been spent, all of that," Ives said.

A federal investigation into COD is also underway, and suburban state lawmakers have said they would continue with the state audit unless federal authorities ask them to hold off. q

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