College of DuPage pays $416,507 bill for state audit

Updated 11/18/2016 8:37 AM

The College of DuPage has agreed to reimburse the state's top auditor $416,507 for a sweeping probe that found a significant lack of oversight by the Glen Ellyn school's former board of trustees and administration.

The final cost was $166,507 more than officials estimated when COD trustees last year authorized the Illinois Auditor General to conduct the performance audit of the school.

Trustees on Thursday night voted 4-2, without discussion, to make the payment. Trustees Dianne McGuire and Joseph Wozniak opposed the expenditure. Trustee Erin Birt was absent.

McGuire, Wozniak and Birt served on a previous board that approved a controversial $763,000 buyout for then-President Robert Breuder. That buyout spurred lawmakers and residents to question COD's financial decisions, which led to calls for the audit.

When the current board was seated in April 2015, one of its first actions was to authorize the probe, which examined at least six years of the school's records.

Released in late September, the report suggested 19 areas the community college needs to improve. It said COD's board needs to increase its oversight in a broad range of areas, including: evaluation of the college president; handling of construction contracts; overall transparency; and members' understanding of their elected roles.

The final cost was higher than expected because staff members in the Auditor General's office billed the college for nearly 7,000 hours of fieldwork, far greater than initially estimated. The probe was expected to take 12 months, but instead took 15.

The work took longer, in part, because of the distance state employees had to travel to COD and the large size of the audit, officials said.

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