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NIU announces actions related to ‘coffee fund’ charges

October 17, 2012

As a result of information obtained through the criminal investigation of the ‘coffee fund’ initiated by Northern Illinois University, the DeKalb County State’s Attorney announced charges against nine current and former NIU employees late afternoon Tuesday, Oct. 16. The University respects the authority of the State’s Attorney to file these charges and acknowledges that employees have a right to be presumed innocent until the adjudicatory process concludes.

The university considers the charges against these individuals a very serious matter, and this afternoon announced that it is taking the following actions:

J. William Roberts, managing partner of Hinshaw and Culbertson, LLC, a former U.S. attorney and former state’s attorney in Sangamon County, has been retained  to provide additional expertise to the president and the Board of Trustees.

The university has taken the necessary steps with its employees and, in accordance with existing personnel policies to ensure day-to-day operations of these departments continue with minimal disruption for students, faculty and staff.

The duties of the university controller were transferred to an interim controller, Barbara Seldal, Tuesday night following the announcement of charges related to the coffee fund investigation.

Seldal will also handle the role of NIU’s controller on the university’s policy review committee empaneled to review and update all procedures related to property control, cash receipts, recycling and the disposition of surplus materials.

The employment status of the eight current employees is under review.  A determination will be made later this week.

The university will provide further updates as more information becomes available.