NIU welcomes DeKalb County prosecutor monitoring probe

Aug 21, 2012

Northern Illinois University officials announced today that they welcome the scrutiny of DeKalb County State's Atty. Clay Campbell over the so-called "coffee fund" investigation being conducted by the NIU campus police.

In a statement issued Monday, Campbell said his office is "closely monitoring" the situation, citing "various widely reported incidents of alleged misconduct" as reason for his concern.

"The integrity and transparency of this public institution of higher learning must be maintained," Campbell said. "To that end, the DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s Office will seek the assistance of any agency, state or federal, to ensure that the investigation into these allegations is fair and complete.” 

The article posted on the NIU Today website states that the state's attorney's office "has been kept appraised of the investigation by NIU law enforcement,"  noting that "his cooperation and assistance has been essential to proceed with the investigation."

University officials recently acknowledged they were looking into allegations that NIU employees sold scrap materials to a local company, which wrote checks to an account known as the ``coffee fund.'' NIU officials say they have yet to find evidence that such a fund exists. 

"... The investigation itself was initiated by the university within less than two hours of receiving the allegations," the NIU Today article states. "NIU will not cease investigating this allegation or any further allegations that may arise until a thorough and complete investigation is performed, no matter where it leads."

The allegations surfaced about two weeks after the abrupt mid-July departure of two university administrators who were being investigated for alleged misconduct. Both left NIU with a severance package under termination agreements.

The sales of scrap material reportedly were made by employees in an NIU department supervised by former Associate Vice President Robert Albanese, one of the departed administrators. However, there has been no official link between the "coffee fund" probe and the resignations.