21.6.13

CASES CLOSED.

A new State's Attorney has wrapped up the coffee fund investigation with a plea bargain.
[New State's Attorney Richard] Schmack said money was improperly diverted to the coffee fund, but was maintained by state employees and used for government functions, not personal gain.

“Some may disagree with the wisdom or prudence of governments using public funds for employee retirement luncheons, but until the state Legislature says otherwise, I do not think it is a crime,” Schmack said in the news release. “It is also not criminally wrong for an NIU department to maintain its own bank account, although it’s certainly not a good accounting practice.”

His office pursued the plea agreement for supervisors and dropped the charges against their subordinates, Schmack said.

“I do believe that the lack of any intent to steal is made clear by the precise and detailed records which were maintained by all those involved, regardless of who actually controlled the account,” Schmack said in the news release.
Three senior administrators agreed to court supervision, with an associate vice president resigning.

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