Another NIU "Coffee Fund" Case Dropped

Apr 1, 2013

Charges have been dropped against one of Northern Illinois University’s top financial officials. University controller Keith Jackson was charged last year with two felonies and one misdemeanor related to the so-called “coffee fund” scandal. 

NIU Controller Keith Jackson
Credit NIU

DeKalb County State’s Attorney Richard Schmack announced through a news release Monday he is dismissing all charges against Jackson. He had been charged with official misconduct, obstructing justice,  and violation of the State Property Control Act. Schmack says Jackson acted properly when he moved funds from the “coffee fund” bank account to another account once he learned about it.

The Coffee Fund was the name given to a Materials Management Departmental account in which proceeds from metal recycling were kept instead of being turned over to the State of Illinois.That money was allegedly used to pay for office parties and similar activities.

All charges, including theft, against employees Susan Zahm and Keenon Darlinger have been dismissed. Robert Albanese pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, and all felony charges against him were dropped. Schmack says he will not comment on the Coffee Fund until all of the cases are resolved. They were originally charged under previous State's Attorney Clay Campbell.