Chair Hamilton: We are now reviewing several contracts for law firms that the College retained under the previous Board because we think the public needs to know.
Counsel: While we are in open session, let’s make sure we do not disseminate information that should not be in open session. We cannot get into specific details about advice received. If we want to to do that we should go into closed session.
Hamilton: Initially we are going to go over the law firms’ bills because Mr. Glaser has prepared a presentation on this for us. If there are questions we can go into closed session.
Linda Sands Vankerk stands up to the podium. She says that she and Glaser divided the firms up to look at who was paid what, and who engaged the firms. I am still not sure what we can say about the actual items.
Counsel: You can talk about who engaged them, who made the decision to engage them, the general type of work that they engaged in.
LSVK: Daniel Nielsen — Arbitration. For 3 grievances that went to arbitration. Both the union (CODFA) and the college had to pay for them. $650
Glaser: Donner and Company — we used this firm to begin to talk with Breuder about his severance package. $3428
Duane Morris — this was a mediator. This had to do with drainage at the tennis courts. 6,000
LSVK: Franczek Radelet — $331,405. We had been using them under BoT Chair Carlin, then we were told not to, then were told again that we could. We engaged them for things like labor and employment issues, student issues, lawsuits, that type of things and immigration issues for full-time faculty. We were told to use different firms.
Fuchs and Rosselli $29,505
Glaser: John Donahue $5,000. Neither Linda nor I were involved in the decision to hire these individuals. They were hired to deal with some DuPage County individuals.
Robbins Schwartz — They had been counsels before we hired Franczek. At some point we were directed we could engage them again for employment, labor, student issues. 310, 143
Schiff Hardin $20,000, $10,000 for litigation over flooring and $10,000 for supoenas with the US attorney’s office
Schwartz Woods and Miller — $ 8,938. This was related to WDCB because WBEZ had begun to filter into some of our band and listeners were having a hard time getting our station. This was to see about how we could address their filtering into our signal.
Williams Montgomery and John $22,000
Total: to date in 2015 $737,153
Mazzocchi: do we know who retained Schiff Hardin?
Glaser: we don’t know.
Hamilton: Who called Schiff Hardin?
Glaser: Breuder signed the engagement letter.
Hamilton: Who hired Res Publica
Glaser: Neither Linda nor I were involved with that.
Discussion about who retained Res Publica and what the process is when the college pays but does not retain, and how to ensure that invoices are legitimate. Glaser does not know. LSV states that “someone” would know.
Mazzocchi: Before issuing them a check don’t we know who engaged them?
Hamilton: I don’t think that Mr. Glaser knows the answer to that question. We need to move to closed session.
Mazzocchi: I’m being careful about my questioning and I want some answers. Don’t you need to know who engaged them before issuing them a check?
Glaser: we don’t know.
Mazzocchi: Don’t you have a custom in practice to confirm that an invoice was a properly generated invoice?
Glaser: We haven’t paid anything on that invoice. If the BoT doesn’t want to pay it, then you
Mazzocchi: I am asking if you have a procedure to check that someone is issuing a properly legal invoice.
Mazzocchi: Isn’t there a step before you sign off on this to check that this firm was lawfully employed by someone on this colleg.
LSVK: Whoever engaged them would be the person. In this case I don’t know who it was. I don’t know if it was Brueder or the BoT.
LSVK: Somebody would have to sign off on that check.
Mazzocchi: So nobody has asked you to do that so far. Now, regarding Schiff and Hardin, who made the initial movement to engage them?
Glaser: Ken Florey made the recommendation
Mazzocchi: Who actually reached out an initiated that contact on the matter of the subpoenas.
Glaser: Ken Florey.
On the recommendation of Ken Florey, Dr. Breuder gave me authority to call them.
Mazzocchi: Did you talk to anybody on the BoT to ensure they were ok that you were hiring the Schiff Hardin law firm.
Mazzocchi: How about for the Federal subpoena?
Mazzocchi: Did you ever confirm their rates?
Glaser: We have paid them only for the retainer. We don’t know yet what the fees will be if we engage in litigation.
Mazzocchi: What is their hourly rate?
Glaser: The initial invoice was 10,000 to do an investigation. If we go to litigation we will know.
Bernstein: But how are they chipping away at that 10,000?
Mazzocchi: Are you suggesting that on the iMAT matter, Schiff Hardin is only engaged for 10,000?
Hamilton: Didn’t you know that when you engaged them that the matter would go over the 15,000? I am talking about the federal investigation, not the IMAT matter.
Glaser: You are asking two people who were not involved in the hiring.
Mazzocchi: They are billing up to 600 per hour. Isn’t that accurate. Doesn’t that concern you?
Glaser: That is not my initiative to unfold.
Mazzocchi: Who on the Board do you think may have engaged that firm?Did you ever inform the BoT that you had negotiated some kind of cap that ensured you would not go above 15,000?
LSVK: Tom is saying that he is not engaged in that.
Mazzocchi: But you know that you can’t pay above 15,000? Didn’t you think that it would be worth informing the BoT.
LSVK: Dr. Breuder has always been the one to communicate with the BoT. He would have been the one to communicate that.
Mazzocchi: Did you ever discuss going through a competitive bid process?
Glaser: given the sensitive matter of the subpoena, there wasn’t time for a RFP.
Mazzocchi: Have you taken steps to talk with Schiff Hardin that for the IMEt matter you haven’t gone over the 15,000? You’ve put no restrictions on that?
Glaser: That can not bill us over the 10,000.
Mazzochi: Are you sure?
Hamilton: At this point there are a lot of questions with regard to Res Publica. We need to go to closed session for that.
Glaser continues to go over his report on which firms were hired and for how much.
Napolitano: Is it the policy that the College pays for the Foundation? When it comes to a separate charitable organization. We’ve heard the name Ken Florey mentioned a lot. Has there ever been a waiver so that Florey could be Breuder’s attorney?
LSVK: I have’t heard anything about Florey being Breuder’s attorney.
McGuire: I don’t think that Ken Florey is Dr. Breuder’s attorney,
Hamilton: I have a tiny question. I have a bill for services to Thomas O Rourke for $36,000 to a Mr. Thomas Glaser. It’s not on that list.
Glaser: That’s a grant. He is not representing us in any legal capacity. We received a grant from Mt O Rourke. He is studying a population in Cook County and it is research that some of our criminal justice students are going to participate on.
Hamilton: For the discussion of pending litigation and the discussion of employment, performance, compensation or dismissal of legal counsel for the public body.
Hamilton: I will move that the BoT move into closed session.
Moved and seconded.
Napolitano: Could we hold the legal matters for the end so that the public in attendance can leave?
Hamilton: the rest of the agenda depends on what gets discussed in closed session. This pertains to the other matters we have to vote on tonight.
Hamilton calls for a motion to move to closed session.
Mazzochi votes no. All others vote yes.
Mazzochi: Could we have a time estimate so we know how long the public has to wait.
Hamilton: 30 minutes hopefully less.