Watchdogs see no support for former College of DuPage president's case
Former College of DuPage President Robert Breuder's attempt to overcome a motion to dismiss has no standing, evidenced by a reply brief filed with a federal court of appeals, according the Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW)
Breuder was given a contract extension by a lame-duck board shortly after becoming the school’s president, the Chicago Tribune reported. A later board declared his contract void, citing 19th century case law that dictated Illinois public bodies cannot create long-term binding contracts that will limit future elected officials.
The board fired Breuder and refused to pay out a $763,000 severance package, triggering a lawsuit. Brueder gained a victory in March when a federal court refused to dismiss the suit based on the college’s arguments. According to the ECW, the college’s lead counsel, Andrew Porter of the Drinker Biddle law firm, is challenging that ruling in the appeals court.
“In fall 2015, the legality of Breuder’s many contract provisions designed to tie the hands of future boards was not clearly established,” Porter wrote in the brief. “In fact, to the extent any cases had considered the question, a long line of authority held that contracts like Breuder’s were void. Nor had the law clearly established that the opinions expressed by each of the trustees (many of which were made in the run up to a very public and heated election) were defamatory. In light of this lack of clarity, the district court’s judgment should be reversed.”