NIU shakeup
11:45 am
Thu September 6, 2012

UPDATE: NIU Official Allegedly Had University Custodian Clean His Home

More details are surfacing into the reasons two senior NIU administrators resigned in July for allegations of misconduct. John Gordon, director of the university's Convocation Center, allegedly had a university custodian go at least four times in the past year to his home to clean, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The worker told the newspaper she was picked up at the loading dock outside the Convocation Center and driven to Gordon's home about two miles away. She said she was given a so-called "tip" of $20 to $40 for the cleaning. She filed a grievance in May. Gordon was also accused of having NIU property at his house, including a snow blower and vacuum. 

Meanwhile, his supervisor, Robert Albanese, an associate vice president who had worked at NIU for 25 years, also resigned in July for separate allegations of misconduct.

The Daily Chronicle confirms the grievance began the departures.

NIU paid Gordon and Albanese a total of nearly $80,000 when they resigned.

NIU spokesman Paul Palian tells WNIJ that his office has not been made aware of any other grievances filed against the two administrators.  He says the resignation agreements the two men signed do not prevent future investigations into their conduct while employed at NIU if warranted.

Palian confirms university officials began an investigation within hours of receiving allegations of misconduct.  NIU also hired an outside firm to look into the matter. The Chicago Tribune reports former chief judge of DeKalb County Circuit Court John Countryman with the firm Foster and Buick was brought in to aid in the investigation. The university expects to pay his firm about $15,000 in fees.

Gordon's annual salary was $132,973. He received about $33,000 and six months of health insurance as part of his resignation agreement. Albanese, whose salary was $198,553, was paid $45,000.

Coffee Fund Allegations

UPDATE 9/6/12: The Illinois State Police will not join the investigation into the NIU coffee fund account. Sergeant Jose DeJesus says a division of the agency was reviewing the case, but has decided not to investigate.

NIU police are investigating whether employees sold scrap materials from university buildings and put the funds into a hidden account. At least $13,000 had been deposited into the account in the past six years. NIU officials confirmed the account and have closed it.