Lester: Breuder awarded unemployment, but College of DuPage is fighting it

  • Former College of DuPage President Robert L. Breuder has been awarded unemployment benefits, but COD is fighting it.

      Former College of DuPage President Robert L. Breuder has been awarded unemployment benefits, but COD is fighting it. Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

 
 
Posted5/16/2016 5:30 AM

Ousted College of DuPage President Robert Breuder has been awarded unemployment benefits, I've learned.

But COD is appealing that decision in what is already proving to be a lengthy and contentious legal battle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Here's the situation, in a nutshell: After Breuder was fired in October by the college's board, he filed for unemployment insurance from the state Department of Employment Security, according to his attorney, Melissa Eubanks. The college contested Breuder's application in February, but an administrative law judge sided with Breuder last month. COD has since appealed that decision to a review board.

How much?

Eubanks won't tell me how much Breuder's checks would be, but called the amount "really minimal compared to the amount they're spending to fight this."

Benefits are based on earnings, but there are caps in place setting a maximum unemployment check of $437 a week, according to the Department of Employment Security's rules. Breuder's final base salary was $314,034, and his total compensation package was $495,357.

College of DuPage attorney Tim Elliott says fighting the unemployment claim is "a matter of principle."

Breuder has not received any checks yet, Eubanks says.

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Meanwhile

Elliott, of Glen Ellyn, tells me his successful GOP primary race for DuPage County Board shattered local spending records, with opponent Michelle Moore of Wheaton spending more than $140,000 in the campaign, while he spent nearly $100,000.

The Chicago Colleens were one of the teams in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
The Chicago Colleens were one of the teams in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. - Courtesy of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
'Aunt Gina'

I've watched "A League of Their Own" so many times that I can -- and often do -- recite large portions of the film from memory. So I was delighted to hear that one of the real Rockford Peaches honored last week at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, Arkansas, is a great-aunt of my St. Viator classmate and pal, Melissa Ranieri Russell of Niles.

Gina "Chirpie" Casey played second base in the minor league division of the all-American Girls' Professional Baseball League, which existed from 1943 to 1954 and inspired the hit 1992 movie.

Frying in baseball

Speaking of baseball, the Kane County Cougars are participating in a Minor League Baseball competition for "Tastiest Ballpark Treat." Their submission is the whopping four-pound "Strike Zone Ultimate Nachos."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

It will compete against the Portland Sea Dogs' "Mount Dessert Island" concoction of fried dough filled with ice cream and topped with whipped cream and candy, and, my personal favorite, the South Bend Cubs' "Porknado" -- a waffle cone filled with mac and cheese and pulled pork.

Naperville fire officials have become the first in the state to receive authorization from the FAA to use drones.
  Naperville fire officials have become the first in the state to receive authorization from the FAA to use drones. - Brian Hill | Staff Photographer
Drones?

You betcha. Naperville fire officials have become the first in the state to receive authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly a drone anywhere in the U.S. Officials say the drone can be used to review incidents and conduct search-and-rescue operations. About 15 fire department employees were trained to use the drone by the Illinois State Police.

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, center, was a student at Niles West High School back in the 1970s. He will give the commencement address for the school's graduation ceremony later this month.
  U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, center, was a student at Niles West High School back in the 1970s. He will give the commencement address for the school's graduation ceremony later this month. - Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer
Cold calling

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland is scheduled to be the commencement speaker at Niles West, his alma mater, on May 29. How'd it happen? Principal Jason Ness says he cold-called the Lincolnwood native shortly after his nomination by President Barack Obama in March. To the school's surprise, Garland called back, in person, and agreed.

Around town

Reader Marie Peterson of Arlington Heights called to gush about the professional production of "Legally Blonde the Musical" staged by Rolling Meadows High School last week. "Had I been able to, I would have gone again the next night," she laughed. The show, put together by 160 students, is one of the biggest that the school has ever had. Bravo.

U-46 CEO Tony Sanders and South Elgin High School student Michelle Kish pose for a photo at the district's special education prom Saturday night.
U-46 CEO Tony Sanders and South Elgin High School student Michelle Kish pose for a photo at the district's special education prom Saturday night.
Today's snap

Here's a sweet shot of U-46 CEO Tony Sanders with South Elgin High School student Michelle Kish at the district's special education prom Saturday night.

• Got a comment or tip? Email Kerry at klester@dailyherald.com or reach her at (847) 427-4603.

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