College of DuPage Foundation complies with court ruling on disclosure of grand jury subpoena
An April 2015 grand jury subpoena released by the College of DuPage (COD) Foundation following an Illinois appeals court ruling in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit requested all documents regarding bank accounts, credit card accounts and records relating to the foundation members, staff and board going back to Jan. 1, 2009, including personnel records as well as expenditures, reimbursements, compensation and benefits, according to Edgar County Watchdogs.
The watchdog group published the document recently on its website.
The subpoena, which also requested records regarding businesses associated with those individuals, was the subject of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit brought by the Chicago Tribune against COD and the COD Foundation.
The court ruled on May 9 that the COD Foundation must provide the federal subpoena requested in the Chicago Tribune's FOIA request.
Appellate Justice Robert Spence stated in the ruling: "We reject the college's contention that it is powerless to obtain the subpoena, as doing so would have required minimal effort due to the extreme degree to which the college is entwined with the foundation."
The COD Foundation expressed its disappointment with the court decision and pointed out that both the college and foundation were working to improve transparency and accountability.
“For two years now, we have been working very hard at College of DuPage to embrace accountability and to adopt an advancement model that better serves the college and its constituents,” COD board of trustees chair Deanne Mazzochi said in a statement. “New leaders within both College of DuPage and the College of DuPage Foundation have sought to improve internal practices and to establish safeguards that will help avoid these types of disputes in the future. We want to make sure that the issues that caused the Tribune FOIA request and lawsuit – all of which arose during the previous college administration – do not occur again.”