State Lawmakers Looking To Thwart Big Severance Deals Like One Given To COD President

(CBS) — Some Illinois lawmakers want to take legislative steps to thwart the kind of big severance deals like the one given to an outgoing suburban college president, reports WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore.

Several Illinois House GOP lawmakers say $763,000 is too much to pay for the departure of College of DuPage President Robert Breuder, whose tenure sparked complaints of a lack of transparency or fiscal oversight.

Downers Grove State Representative Ron Sandack proposes a bill barring state money from being used for such incentives.

“If my bill were in place, COD would have forfeited approximately $765,000 in state aid,” Sandack said.

Wheaton State Rep. Jeanne Ives wants any veils lifted on financial dealings at COD.

“I intend to call for hearings before the Illinois Community College Board about severance agreements, financial audits and local community college board governance,” Ives said.

There are several proposed bills expected in response to Breuder’s so-called “golden parachute.”

The severance package has also prompted State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo) to call for the COD’s funding to be slashed.

Breuder’s buyout was approved by the COD Board of Trustees last week in a public meeting where hundreds turned out to voice their opposition to the severance package.

The board had already approved the severance deal in a vote that may have violated the state’s Open Meetings Act, prompting the second vote last week.

In 2009, Breuder received a payout of $462,202 after retiring as president of Harper College. Breuder also received $66,080 in vacation time earned in his final year at Harper as well as a 2008 Lexus GX470 SUV, with a value of around $45,000.

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