State lawmakers lash out at COD severance package

Saying they don't want a repeat of the $762,868 buyout the College of DuPage board is giving outgoing President Robert Breuder, suburban Republican legislators are proposing measures they say will prevent such costly agreements in the future while ensuring greater transparency.

The proposals include limiting severance packages to no more than the retiring educator's yearly salary and benefits, cutting off state money for some retirement deals, moving school board elections to the fall, and limiting the naming of buildings after educators.

State Reps. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton, Peter Breen of Lombard and Ron Sandack of Downers Grove were joined by other lawmakers Monday as they announced several proposals aimed at taxpayer-funded severance packages.

The news conference in downtown Chicago came less than a week after the COD board voted 6-1 for a second time to approve the severance package with Robert Breuder. It calls for Breuder to be paid nearly three times his base salary when he retires on March 31, 2016, about three years earlier than his contract calls for.

"Over 400 residents, teachers, students and taxpayers came together last Wednesday night for over three hours to speak against the board and the generous buyout of Dr. Breuder's contract," Ives said. "Many questions remain surrounding the board's sudden decision."

Ives, who praised COD Trustee Kathy Hamilton for casting the only "no" vote against Breuder's deal, said the proposed laws, which haven't all been finalized, would "make it easy to distinguish and empower the principled and the honorable over the opportunistic and the unethical."

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