DeKalb County

NIU’s Alverez was paid $468,000 and produced no final written report –

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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Categories: DeKalb County, feature, NIU

8 replies »

  1. You guys are awesome … I really enjoy reading what you dig up and I wish I could say the corruption shocks me , but it doesn’t … Seems from the federal to the state and on down to the counties and cities corruption is rampant … It just isn’t in Illinois , its just worse there …

  2. Only the arrogance of a very highly educated person could develop such a STUPID and IRRATIONAL story, then expect people to believe it. Heads need to roll!

    • Arrogant? Yes! Politico? Most definately yes! Paranoid? Yes!
      Highly educated? Not so much. Only a masters degree in a discipline where a doctorate is the norm.

      • Just curious, did the General Counsel’s office approve the arrangement then chose NOT to pay the consultants so they would stop investigating past improprieties? Wouldn’t this be something that so-called “watchdogs” would investigate, if they did not have a financial interest??

        Since you can can assume ECWD does have a financial benefit/interest, it explains the story.

  3. Keep digging ECW, there is much more corruption and waste of taxpayer money by the current administration. You are the ONLY journalist group shedding light on this continued abuse. Thank You!

      • Just curious, did the General Counsel’s office approve the arrangement then chose NOT to pay the consultants so they would stop investigating past improprieties? Wouldn’t this be something that so-called “watchdogs” would investigate, if they did not have a financial interest??
        Regarding the so-called “advertising”, wasn’t Suttenfield only there temporarily?? And would anybody that was not brain damaged look that these emails and realize they were sent from a non-owned NIU (PERSONAL) device (as opposed those established from her NIU property??)??
        Since you can only can assume ECWD do have a financial benefit/interest, it explains the story.

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