Felony theft charges have been thrown out against two more NIU employees.
DeKalb County State’s Attorney Richard Schmack has dismissed all charges against Materials Management traffic manager Michael Hall. Hall was one of eight NIU employees charged in the NIU “Coffee Fund” case. They were accused of selling university scrap metal and putting the proceeds into a special account used to fund departmental parties instead of turning it over to the state.
Schmack said in a news release that Hall’s job was transporting the materials, which he would have done regardless of where the proceeds eventually landed. He added “…the ends of justice would not be served by his continued prosecution.”
Another employee in the department faced felony theft charges unrelated to the coffee fund. Those charges against Joseph Alberti were also dropped today. He had checked out a university computer to use at home, following university protocol, but returned it 81 days beyond the due date. Schmack issued the following statement:
“As this charge requires the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he intended to permanently deprive NIU of the property, when he in fact returned it, The State’s Attorney’s Office believes that his continued prosecution is manifestly contrary to the interest of justice.”
There are three “Coffee Fund” cases open. Two of the charged – Lawrence Murray and Kenneth Pugh – are still on paid leave. Mark Beaird has returned to work.