To The Editor: Prairie State Board Hiring Friends and Relatives

To The Editor:

When citizens and the press do not monitor the workings of government, democracy withers. Such is the case with Prairie State College. The Board of Trustees has successfully begun using the college as a location for the hiring of friends and relatives, even changing requirements for specific positions to suit the qualifications of their relatives. They have also been renewing contracts for various service providers without issuing invitations for public bids.

No surprise, when Linda Uzureau and Peg Donohue, who would undoubtedly oppose those practices, announced their candidacy for election for the PSC Board, someone challenged them (along with two other candidates). The basis for the challenge: “one of the forms they had used was incorrect.” Never mind that the form was provided to them by the Board of Elections and is, in fact, the most updated version of that form.

The hearing was held this afternoon. Prior to the hearing, the lawyer for Uzureau and Donohue predicted that the PSC Electoral Board would do everything they could, including resetting the hearing dates over and over, in order to discourage them, force them to spend lots of money on legal representation, prevent them from campaigning and, finally, prevent them from bringing their case to court. He was right.

The objector did not appear at the hearing but an attorney from the Burt Odelson firm represented him. The objector’s attorney suggested a hearing schedule that would set the next date nearly a month in the future. The University’s attorney strongly supported that suggestion. Kathleen Doyle was the only member of the Electoral Board to object.

I encourage citizens to attend the next hearing, to be held on Friday, Feb. 8 at 4:00 in the President’s Conference Room on the second floor of the college. My bet – there will be another delay but we citizens should be there to see it.

Janet Muchnik
Park Forest, IL