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Government

Report: Watchdog says records may indicate 'pay-to-play' at College of DuPage

A local watchdog group is questioning whether College of DuPage engaged in “pay-to-play” politics in relation to projects funded by the school's $168 million referendum, according to a report from the Daily Herald.

Sixteen vendors who gave money to Supporters of College of DuPage – the political committee that supported the 2010 referendum for multiple renovation and construction projects – later billed the school for tens of millions of dollars, the report stated, citing Adam Andrzejewski of DuPage County-based OpenTheBooks.com.

"COD erased the institutional lines between government and political action," Andrzejewski said in the report.

Kathy Hamilton, chairwoman of the college's Board of Trustees, said in a statement that Andrzejewski's concerns “raise deeply troubling questions,” according to the report, while school spokesman Randall Samborn declined to comment due to ongoing investigations.

The college has been the subject of federal, state and internal investigations in recent months.

Between Oct. 14 and Oct. 30 of 2010, Supporters of College of DuPage received $64,537 in campaign donations, most of which came from companies and employees of companies that had business relationships with the school, the report stated.

Among the committee's contributors was Mortenson Construction, according to the report, which donated $5,000 and later made $1.6 million after receiving contracts, for which it didn't compete, to be construction manager on two projects stemming from the referendum.

In a statement in the report, Mortenson said there have been other instances where it has not received contracts for work sought with the college.

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