Lester: Breuder's longtime secretary pink-slipped by COD
Five months after beleaguered College of DuPage President Robert Breuder was put on leave, his longtime secretary has been given a pink slip.
The move to eliminate Monica Miller's position is being written off by college officials as a necessary downsizing. But critics say it's a case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
Here's the rundown: Miller has been Breuder's personal secretary -- a nontenured position -- for more than six years. Breuder's office also employed two other assistants and a receptionist.
When Joe Collins became acting president, he kept his own personal assistant, and college officials say there simply isn't enough work for everyone. Miller's been informed Oct. 30 will be her last day, unless she is hired for one of two campus openings that match her skills.
Chris Robling, a public relations strategist for the board, sent a statement that the COD administration "reviews positions periodically and takes action as is warranted by work demands and effective deployment of resources."
But former Trustee Kim Savage questioned why Miller was fired.
"This is the most nice and considerate person you'd ever meet in that role," Savage said. "Her agenda would be to do what he (Breuder) needed to do his job. She wouldn't go and do nefarious things."
Miller hasn't returned calls seeking comment.
Meanwhile, the State Board of Elections ruled that the "Clean Slate" College of DuPage Political Action Committee acted improperly in failing to report a $20,000 loan from another political committee tied to board President Kathy Hamilton. The Clean Slate PAC helped sweep in a new board majority in April.
Board of Elections general counsel Ken Menzel tells me the staff will weigh an appropriate fine, which could be as much as half the $20,000 loan. That's expected to be announced at the elections board's October or November meeting.
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Here's District 23 teachers union president Bob Miller, a physical education teacher at Betsy Ross Elementary. It's Miller's first term as president, and he tells me he never once imagined the district would go on strike. He believed all sides had learned their lessons during the last set of contentious contract negotiations a year and a half ago.
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