Northern Illinois University – (ECWd) –
In our recent post (here) concerning NIU’s illegitimate subcontract with Alvarez and Marsal, we asked the question: “Why did the University not accept a final report?”
We now have an answer.
In an email from then-Interim CFO Nancy Suttenfield to Director of Internal Audit Danielle Schultz (and copy to President Douglas Baker), Suttenfield stated “There was no written report from Marc Sherman [Alvarez], just an oral report to me, to keep the cost of the work as low as possible.”
Isn’t it wonderful to have a public official be this concerned with the cost to the Illinois taxpayers? Not to mention no paper trail to leave behind…
Really? Does anyone buy this? In Alvarez’s final month of billing, there are over 47 hours of billings which include “report building” and “report drafting”. This clearly indicates that Alvarez did prepare a written report. Alvarez billed and WAS PAID FOR a final report. So where is the savings? Is it in the paper needed to print this report? $468,050 later, and she thinks it is now time to save pennies on the paper costs? Really?
It is obvious that cost savings is not the reason that NIU did not accept a final written report. Did Suttenfield really think that anyone outside the NIU administration would be that gullible? From start to finish, this is, at best, a questionable contract. Suttenfield instructed Pugh, Jones, and Johnson to draft the Alvarez contract as a “subcontract” obviously to avoid state procurement rules. The illegitimacy of the “subcontract” is proven by the (hopefully) limited findings communicated in this email that bears no relationship to the Pugh Jones scope of the FBI investigation. And now, Suttenfield confirms that all findings in this $468K contract was verbally communicated and expressed only to the person who deliberately violated state rules to pay to get these “findings”. Doesn’t this make it appear that accepting only an oral report was an attempt to circumvent any potential FOIA requests?
As asked previously, when will the NIU Board of Trustees own up to their responsibility and put an end to this administration’s continued inappropriate actions?
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