McGuire blasts COD's decision to pay former journalist $2,500

Updated 1/12/2016 11:11 AM

A College of DuPage trustee is blasting the school's agreement to provide $2,500 in compensation to a former television journalist who moderated presidential search forums as the "latest example of the political patronage machine" at work at the beleaguered Glen Ellyn institution.

Dianne McGuire's comments followed a Chicago Tribune report that Anne Kavanagh, a media consultant who spent more than two decades at WFLD-Channel 32, was paid $2,500 to moderate two public forums gathering input on who should replace former President Robert Breuder, who was terminated by the board last fall.


The two mid-December forums lasted less than 90 minutes total, and involved Kavanagh explaining ground rules to the audience and calling speakers to the microphone.

According to the Tribune, Kavanagh's contract, which stipulated that she would host the forums and do background research on them, called for all communications between her company and the college to remain confidential unless it became the subject of a Freedom of Information Act request.

McGuire confirmed the existence of the contract Saturday, calling the move "especially vexing inasmuch as the college has tremendously talented individuals on staff who could have conducted these two public input sessions at no additional expense to the taxpayers."

Additionally, McGuire questioned "why there was a stipulation that it (the contract) remain confidential?"

The College of DuPage, the state's largest community college, has made national headlines over the past year not only for the scrutiny of spending and compensation of Breuder, but a group of reformer trustees' work to oust him, a process that has also proven to be contentious and expensive.

Breuder in October filed a suit in federal court seeking more than $2 million in damages.

Kavanagh didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.

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