DeKalb County

Dorm Living NIU Employee: Final Report on Sexual Harassment Allegations –

DeKalb, IL. (ECWd) –

We recently reported that an employee, Mr. Kenneth Wilson, of Northern Illinois University (now a former employee) had been given free rent in a Grant Towers Dormitory Room for over a year (read it here).

On March 31, 2015 I contacted NIU President Baker and asked him for comments on allegations that this employee had allegations of sexual harassment filed against him, and if they were founded or unfounded, and why he was still allowed to live in the dormitory rent free with these allegations pending. He replied a couple days later saying he forwarded the question to the legal department who would get back with me.

According to his IRS W-2 Form (here), provided under the Freedom of Information Act, this accounting consultant raked in $145,870.40 for 2014.

Additionally, it was discovered that he had been the subject of two separate complaints of allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace. The first was deemed unfounded on June 2, 2014 and was closed. The second alleged sexual harassment claim was originally filed sometime prior to May 27, 2014 and included the following allegations:

– Punching females in the back
– Putting his arm around a female and asking her if he could share her lunch
– Asking a female if she would like to go to the casino with him and have a drink
– Making comments to females in a sexual tone of voice

You have to ask yourself, that if you were on the Board of Trustees, or were this person’s boss, would you have continued to allow him free rent in the college dormitory after these allegations came to light? Keep in mind he should never have lived there in the first place as that is misuse of public property.

Copy of the allegations here…

The College spokesperson has responded to my inquiry on the disposition of the allegation against Wilson and whether or not Wilson would have to repay the college for his living arrangements.

The answer is here:

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I apologize for this taking so long, but we were finally able to resolve the issue so that we could provide you with the information you requested.  The following is in response to your questions regarding the status of the investigation into allegations against Mr. Kenneth Wilson, and whether or not the Institution plans to charge him rent and back rent for the room he occupied in Grant Towers.

1)      The investigation into the allegations against Mr. Kenneth Wilson has been completed, and it was determined as a result of the investigation that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that Mr. Wilson engaged in conduct that could be characterized as prohibited sexual harassment against female colleagues.

2)      It was, however determined that Mr. Wilson engaged in workplace behavior that was considered improper by the complainant and other employees, and as a result, Title IX training was mandated and conducted for the entire Finance division where he worked.

3)      Additionally, for the duration of his employment, Mr. Wilson was provided with access to resources and an appropriate work space that did not necessitate face-to-face interaction with either the Complainant or the other employees who were part of this complaint and investigation process.

4)      Mr. Wilson submitted his resignation on the 24th of March, and no longer works at the University.  

5)      During his tenure at NIU, Mr. Wilson was provided temporary lodging space on university property as a part of his compensation.  As this was considered to be compensation, he will be required to pay taxes on the amount of the benefit in accordance with all applicable laws and statutes.

If you have further questions, let us know.

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I know the college claims the dorm room was part of his compensation, but I did not see that in his employment agreement, which only laid out his monetary compensation.

The remaining question is whether or not the college updated the County Assessor’s Office with the fact that this dorm room was not being used exclusively for tax-exempted educational purposes for the calendar year of 2014 – which would mean Mr. Wilson should have been responsible for real estate taxes on the dorm room.

Categories: DeKalb County, feature, NIU

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