Northern Illinois University announced Friday that a temporary appointee will oversee the campus police department. William Nicklas, the associate vice president of Institutional Planning and Sustainability at NIU, will serve as temporary acting director of Public Safety.
NIU spokesman Paul Palian says Nicklas essentially is taking over one of the duties of Eddie Williams, chief of operations and executive vice president of Finance & Facilities. Palian says this doesn't affect William's main title. It also doesn't affect the status of campus police chief Donald Grady. According to Palian, Williams recommended the appointment.
Under the restructuring, the NIU Department of Public Saferty will report on an interim basis directly to Nicklas, who reports directly to the university president. Prior to his time at NIU, Nicklas held leadership roles in DeKalb and Sycamore city government.
Palian says the decision was based on recent developments in a sexual assault case against a former campus police officer. A judge recently ruled that campus police withheld evidence that could have bolstered the defendant's case. A judge on Friday refused to dismiss the case, but jurors will be allowed to hear about the withheld evidence.
NIU Police sergeants released a letter Thursday defending the department and Lt. Kartik Ramakrishnan, the department
staff member accused of intentionally mishandling evidence in the sexual assault case. The university issued a statement Friday condemning the release of the letter.