Legal Action By Curator Against Naper Settlement

Everybody is replaceable, some less so than others. Mayors come and go, council members are here today and gone tomorrow, and Watchdogs can disappear as quickly as they surface; hard to admit but true. What makes some people more difficult to replace is their knowledge about a particular obscure topic.

Take for example Naper Settlement curator, Bryan Ogg. He is the ‘Google’ of Naperville history. He knows it, he understands it, he loves it; you could say he devours it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In short, he is a gift to the City of Naperville and its residents. But now for some strange reason, Naper Settlement’s President and CEO Rena Tamayo-Calabrese, considers Ogg the ‘former’ curator of the Settlement, which came as an apparent surprise to Ogg.

In a nutshell Rena Tamayo-Calabrese said the Ogg resigned from his position as curator, and Ogg said he absolutely did not resign, but that he was fired. Looks like somebody is not being totally truthful, or has mis-interpreted words and actions.

Both sides of the issue have enlisted the help of legal counsel to help sort out the details. This seems like it would be a very simple issue to resolve. Either Ogg has submitted a formal written resignation, which the Naper Settlement can present as proof, with the resignation being accepted, meaning that Ogg has become part of Naperville history himself. Or there is no written proof that he resigned, meaning that Tamayo-Calabrese and the Naper Settlement folks have some explaining to do.

Within the issue is a book that Ogg wanted to co-author about the history of Naperville. Obviously he is the person who is most qualified to it, but apparently higher pay-grade folks at Naper Settlement, including Tamayo-Calabrese, weren’t too excited about the idea, and allegedly  gave Ogg the choice to co-author the book and lose his job, or forget the book and keep his job. That’s one of the details that has be sorted out. If that is true, and we don’t know yet. that would qualify as violating Ogg’s First Amendment rights (a huge no-no), and leading to wrongful termination (another big no-no).

Naperville city officials say, ‘hey, we’re not involved in this’. It’s probably a good thing to say, since they are involved as defendants in numerous self-inflicted lawsuits costing Naperville residents (taxpayers) bundles of money. As you read this, city officials are busy bundling enormous bags of money (taxpayer dollars) to settle a class-action lawsuit involving charging residents for services not rendered. That will be the topic of Watchdog’s July 16 posting.

Though city officials like to say they are not ‘involved’ in the Naper Settlement / Bryan Ogg kerfuffle, they actually are. City officials provide SECA funds to the Settlement, just as they do to the Carillon. So when the Naperville city council is tossing (our) money around willy-nilly to groups with outstretched arms, and those groups get themselves in ‘lack-of-leadership’ troubles, then city officials are involved, whether they like it or not.

Show 2 Comments


  1. Timothy Ory

    Naperville City officials are involved in this issue. Both Mayor Steve Chirico and Councilman Paul Hinterlong are board members of the Naper Settlement Museum board.

  2. Jim Haselhorst

    Naper Settlement gets more funding from the city then just SECA funds. The issues with Tamayo-Calabrese’s leadership at the Naper Settlement started shortly after she did. Many past and present employees of the settlement have many interesting stories to tell about her behavior. This is probably why she has a problem with Ogg co-authoring a book; she is paranoid that this book may included mention of some of her past behavior which she would prefer not be immortalized in print.

    Personally I believe a full forensic accounts audit should be conducted on Naper Settlements books. Tamayo-Calabrese’s decisions to utilize settlement funds in a manor radically different from her predecessors is cause for many questions and much concerns.

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