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Daily Herald: July 3 Front Page- Quinn to Withhold COD Grant, “Tactics used by the president in his email” prompt governor’s no

Daily HeraldBy Robert Sanchez
July 3, 2014

The College of DuPage won’t receive a $20 million state construction grant now that Gov. Pat Quinn has seen an email detailing President Robert Breuder’s strategy to secure the long-promised funding for the Glen Ellyn school.

“The tactics used by the president in his email” convinced the governor not to release the $20 million the school hoped to use for a Teaching and Learning Center, a Quinn spokesman said Wednesday.

“We are suspending the possibility that they can submit a project for that funding,” David Blanchette said.

COD spokesman Joseph Moore said the school did not have a comment Wednesday evening but may have one Thursday.

The controversy centers on an email Breuder sent May 9 to college trustees detailing his plan to publicly thank Quinn during commencement ceremonies for committing to release the grant money, which COD has waited a dozen years to receive.

“When I introduce Governor Quinn at commencement, I want to help our cause (getting the $20 million released sooner rather than later) by thanking him for his commitment in front of 3,500 people,” Breuder wrote. “There are many voters in our district. Please keep November 4 in mind.”

Blanchette said $25 million in capital funds were appropriated for COD in 2009 by the state legislature as part of the Illinois Jobs Now! program. To date, $5 million has been obligated toward the demolition of structures on the Glen Ellyn campus.

Blanchette said the remaining $20 million hasn’t been committed or approved by the state. He said Quinn won’t release that money for construction projects at COD because of what Breuder wrote.

In part of Breuder’s memo, he told trustees “There is always the option of telling the Governor we want the money, will bank it until we figure out how to use it, and then build something.”

“We have no tolerance for any misrepresentation of how funds will be used,” Blanchette said.

Breuder’s email was made public last week by an Elmhurst-based government watchdog group that obtained it through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The group, For the Good of Illinois, accused Breuder of coming up with an “unplanned” classroom building proposal to help secure the $20 million.

Read the rest of the Daily Herald article here: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20140702/news/140709530/

 


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