“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”-Lord Acton
Those who use taxpayers money as if it were their personal plaything and abuse the levers of governmental power have a real distain for those who expose their malfeasance and misdeeds.
As the mainstream media become less and less interested in investigating the entities of government and its power players it has become increasingly necessary for bloggers and ordinary concerned citizens to bring transparency and accountability. That in turn has made them the targets of the ire of those they expose.
Case in point comes from the continuing saga of suburban Chicago’s College of DuPage, its former President Robert Breuder, and government watchdog’s John Kraft and Kirk Allen, better known as the Edgar County Watchdogs.
Breuder is suing the College and others over his dismissal due to a torrent of scandals that the Watchdogs helped to expose.
Digging into the COD’s records revealed a pay to play scheme between Breuder and former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn that would have used taxpayer money to build a building at the college that it didn’t need in return for backing Quinn’s reelection. There was also the discovery of criminal activity at the College’s radio station. Most importantly for Breuder major problems were discovered with his contract, some lavish spending, and with contracts with outside businesses.
All of the scandals led to a new group of Trustees being elected who promptly cleaned house there including getting rid of Breuder.
All of this upset Breuder who has been involved with lawsuits and countersuits with the College, its Trustees, and the media who helped expose the tremendous amount of bad things happening under his watch.
Last year Breuder’s lawyers told the Chicago Tribune:
The recent pleadings by COD (and individual trustees) are just further evidence of their deliberate and malicious scheme to falsely malign and harm the reputation of a good man. Dr. Breuder is looking forward to the day he can present the facts to the Judge and jury. It is a shame that the taxpayers of DuPage County have to bear the costs of the COD’s continued malicious plight against Dr. Breuder.
More recently Breuder and his legal team have issued some subpoenas directed at the Edgar County Watchdogs that expose just how much contempt he has for those that brought his abuses into the light.
the Feb. 19 subpoena ordered Edgar County Watchdogs to produce communications between co-founders of the group, Kirk Allen and John Kraft, and numerous other entities including news organizations the Daily Herald and Chicago Tribune. It also orders the group to turn over copies of relevant Freedom of Information Act requests and records received.
“We wrote a lot of articles on the College DuPage and the former president and contractors, as well as change orders that were made without proper board approval and crazy expenses by the college president,” Kraft told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker. “[Breuder] is suing the board members of the college for various civil rights violations, like his age and alleging lack of due process. They are working through discovery, and they’re trying to get communications between us, the board of the college, and various media outlets.”
Kraft noted that the FOIA requests and responsive records — which comprise thousands of pages — are already public records, so it isn’t necessary to order the group to produce them. “They can get them from the college,” he said.
So Breuder gets caught trying to make a corrupt deal with Pat Quinn at taxpayers expense; gets caught mismanaging and misusing taxpayer and student money; gets caught with a contract that wasn’t properly done under the open meeting act; becomes the driving factor in the election of new Trustees who promptly can him; and yet somehow he’s the victim?
As John Stossel would say “Give me a break.”