APPROVAL of Resolution to Hire In-House Counsel commencing July 1, 2016.
BIrt raises issue of timing – this counsel will work with new president. Mazz responds that we need to establish the position now because of the budgeting cycle. Agrees that the board should take its time. Needs to be the right person filling the role. But long term the position should help address concerns about legal fees.
Exchange between Birt and Mazzochi about who does the hiring for this position – does the President hire, or does the Board hire? Counsel states that the Board has always retained Counsel although the person would report to the President.
McGuire says that there is not enough information. She wants to look at cost, benefit, risk.
Olsen comments on his experience with in-house counsel with Village of Downers Grove. Supports the concept overall of having attorney on site, dedicated to the College and available to staff, particularly President. Better litigation management.
Mazzochi says that the motion can be passed and more of the details can still be discussed later, including salary, timing, reporting roles.
McGuire protests again that an in-house counsel can’t be made to report both to the BOT and the President. Insists there have to be separate functions.
Counsel makes comment that the ultimate relationship is to the BOT. On a day to day basis, issues should come up that don’t rise to board level, these should still be able to go to in-house counsel and be managed by the President. General reluctance to take the smaller matters to outside counsel anyway.
McGuire argues that the issue should be tabled until more information can be developed.
Olsen speaks again in favor of the idea but says that he is not opposed to gathering more information.
Bernstein says that there should be no conflict of interest – what frightens him is the prospect of an attorney who serves only the president. Good points made about getting more information, could be tabled, but let’s get it done soon.
Mazzochi asks for more input on what people want to learn/discuss before making a decision. Trustees make various suggestions.
Motion to table the motion to Feb 25th for more information. Motion passes unanimously.
The next portion of the meeting is supposed to be a closed session.
McGuire objects to the closed session. BOT should not be interviewing financial executive, job of President. Also objects in detail to discussing legal bills without invoices to review (really a big rant here).
Mazzochi points out that there are other personnel matters to be addressed in closed session and that the financial executive will also be the Board Treasurer.
Counsel reacts defensively to being called “deceitful.” There is a long contentious exchange involving Counsel, Birt, McGuire, and Mazzochi. A lot of speaking over each other and disagreeing about who is telling the truth and who isn’t. Bernstein calls out McGuire for her disrespectful language, says there is an HLC microscope in the ceiling.
Motion to go into closed session passes 4-3. Mazzochi says that the session will last approx an hour.
This is the end of tonight’s blogging coverage. To continue viewing the meeting live following the closed session, monitor this link: