Lester: Auditor's report on College of DuPage exists, but few have it
There's a bit of mystery surrounding an Illinois Auditor General's report on the College of DuPage. "The Auditor General's report came in today, so we're going to look into that," new President Ann Rondeau said at the board's Aug. 18 meeting.
But Board Chairwoman Deanne Mazzochi tells me that Rondeau's statement was "an error" and that "there is no final report that exists."
Somewhere in between
Both women are technically right, I learned with a little digging.
Auditor General Frank Mautino's office tells me a draft of a report was sent to the college, which has an opportunity to respond before a final report is issued. The draft, the auditor general's office says, is not public, though the final report will be.
The audit of how COD uses state funds arose from disclosures last year of lavish spending by college officials at the Waterleaf Restaurant on campus.
I've been told that Rondeau and a few college administrators have seen the draft, but rumors of the report's existence have caused some board members, Dianne McGuire among them, to demand to see it, too.
Mazzochi, who says she's under "confidentiality obligations," said that "if there was a report that could be shared with the board, I'm not going to withhold that from the board."
In the meantime, I've sent a Freedom of Information Act Request for the document. Stay tuned.
You might have read here last week about some Ray Graham Association workers who care for people with disabilities leaving for higher paying jobs in fast food and retail.
On Friday, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill that would have raised their pay to $15 an hour, saying it would "increase the cost of caring for people with development disabilities by $330 million per year, of which Illinois taxpayers would be required to pay at least half."
- Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer
One foot in front of the other
Remember shoe repairman Greg George, who's run Ironman races as he's fighting leukemia?
I stopped by Randhurst Shoe Repair in Arlington Heights the other day and learned George is training for another race, the Oct. 9 Louisville Ironman, as he continues treatment on a new drug called Imbruvica.
George, who lives in Barrington, says it has kept his energy levels high enough that he feels good as he preps for the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run.
Enrollment in Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic schools across Cook and Lake counties is down by at least 1,000 students, I'm told.
Spokeswoman Ann Maselli says between 75,000 and 78,000 students are enrolled in the 217 schools, with final numbers available in October. That compares to 79,460 at the end of 2015.
The news comes as new superintendent Jim Rigg has been working on a plan to stabilize enrollment. That's expected to be released in the new year.
Congratulations to Des Plaines Mayor Matt Bogusz and wife, Kate, who are expecting their first child on New Year's Eve. Bogusz says he feels "exceptionally lucky and grateful for the support of our friends and family ... especially our soon-to-be grandparents and great grandparents who might be even more excited than Kate and I!"
Cook County Clerk David Orr is holding a celebratory news conference at 10:30 a.m. today, at the clerk's office in Chicago to herald a milestone in same-sex marriage licenses being issued in Cook County. Orr's office said as of Tuesday it had issued 9,952 marriage licenses to same-sex couples and expects to hit 10,000 by early this week.
Farewell, Pick, hello again, Pickwick
"After changes upon changes we are more or less the same," goes Paul Simon's "The Boxer," a favorite song of mine. That's true for Park Ridge's iconic Pickwick Restaurant, a favorite spot of 2016 presidential hopeful and hometown girl Hillary Clinton. It's being turned into a diner again after spending a few months as an upscale American comfort food restaurant called The Pick. Restaurateur Dino Sarantopoulos of Mount Prospect plans to revive the Pickwick's original Greek-American menu. Watch for a burger with olives, reportedly a young Hillary's favorite dish after a movie date with friends.