Lester: McGuire doubts College of DuPage lawyers, asks attorney general's advice
College of DuPage Trustee Dianne McGuire this week fired off a letter to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, asking whether the college would be on the hook for damages against four trustees sued individually as part of a federal case brought by former President Robert Breuder after he was fired last week.
McGuire said she doesn't trust the board's lawyers to provide "candid and unbiased advice" about the college's obligations to "the four trustees responsible for hiring them."
Litany of questions
Among McGuire's questions: Does the COD board have to specifically vote to indemnify Chairwoman Kathy Hamilton and Trustees Deanne Mazzochi, Frank Napolitano and Charles Bernstein, and, if so, do the four have to refrain from voting?
And, McGuire asks, would that protection against liability extend to all of the claims Breuder made against the four trustees? Breuder accuses them of defamation, conspiracy and breach of contract.
Because some of the actions claimed in Breuder's suit occurred before some of the defendants were elected as trustees, McGuire says it would be "hypocritical" for them to ask the college to cover any damages Breuder might win.
McGuire told me Wednesday evening she hasn't yet heard from Madigan's office. But she says she hopes the attorney general will recognize time is of the essence.
'Trashing the state'
While some are praising movement by Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders toward a Nov. 18 face-to-face meeting on the state budget, others say it's too little, too late. Republican state Rep. David McSweeney of Barrington Hills sounded particularly hot under the collar during a chat this week.
"We're literally trashing the state right now," McSweeney said, pointing out that every day that goes by, the state deficit increases, it risks more credit downgrades and its social service network is being irreparably damaged.
"Nov. 18 means absolutely nothing to me. It's a joke," he said. "They should be sitting down today."
Little is expected to happen on the budget before Nov. 30, the deadline for legislative candidates running in 2016 to file nominating papers.
Friday's the last day to turn in decorated wreaths for the Arlington Heights Historical Museum's first Festival of the Wreaths.
Historical Society Board President Betsy Kmiecik (a longtime Daily Herald employee, now retired) tells me society officials got the idea from Carroll County, Maryland.
Kmiecik says more than 70 Arlington Heights residents and businesses have signed up to create the wreaths that will be on display at the Historical Society Nov. 27 before they're auctioned off. Submissions include one wreath made of a bicycle wheel, another with a garden hose, and one commemorating veterans and composed of dog tags.
Back to the books in Yorkville
With former House Speaker Dennis Hastert pleading guilty to federal bank fraud charges Wednesday, officials at Yorkville's Public Library say the pace of business has returned to a normal after months of visits from reporters looking for school yearbooks featuring the former teacher and wrestling coach. I was one of them, searching book after book for former athletes with whom Hastert crossed paths.
Librarian Shelley Augustine's log shows that on May 29, the day after Hastert's indictment, reporters from more than two dozen news agencies visited the library. In the weeks that followed, she said, they streamed in from all over the world. Nobody got special treatment.
"I had 'Inside Edition' call me," Augustine said. "They wanted me to email them out information, but I told them they'd have to come in like everyone else."
Among towns served by Harper College, the number of elementary schools with a majority of students eligible for federal free and reduced lunches has jumped from four schools in 2003 to 25 in 2014. Economic diversity is one of the issues Harper will discuss Friday in a symposium for students, administrators and area school officials. The half-day event will feature a keynote address by Walgreens' chief diversity officer, Steve Pemberton.
Actress Drew Barrymore will stop by Naperville's Community Christian Church at 7 p.m. Friday to discuss her new memoir, "Wildflower." Anderson's Bookshop is selling $36 tickets to the event. See Andersonbookshop.com for more information.
Here's Buffalo Grove native and University of Illinois student Matt Hill, front left, with Vice President Joe Biden. Hill, vice president of the university's student body, was one of fewer than two dozen students recently selected from across the country to serve on the White House's "It's On Us" campaign to end campus sexual assault. Hill said he found the VP -- who announced last week he won't be making a 2016 bid for president -- to be "incredibly personal" during a visit to campus last spring. "I remember everything about that day," he gushed.