DeKalb, IL. (ECWd) -
We were forwarded an indemnification agreement entered into earlier this year by Northern Illinois University's President Baker and employee Nancy Suttenfield, interim Chief Financial Officer of NIU.
What makes this worrisome is the after-the-fact indemnification, coupled with what appears to be indemnification of criminal charges to include paying for her attorney.
Previously we had exposed NIU for paying the legal fees of employees who plead guilty to crimes against the university (here) which resulted in the passage of Senator Michael Connelly's SB1102, effective January 1, 2017, prohibiting indemnification act arising to a finding of guilty (or plea) in criminal proceedings.
Apparently some state elected officials have noticed this agreement also and at least one of them, Rep Dwight Kay, sent a letter to NIU Pres. Baker asking some very pointed questions about the agreement, including the University policy on indemnifications, the reasons for the new indemnification, procedure for providing supplemental indemnifications, reimbursements via indemnifications, and names of others with similar agreements.
A little additional information to think about:
The effective date of the indemnification agreement is the same Saturday date that Pres Baker received the engagement letter from his lawyer Mintz Cohn... Also, coincidentally, given the amount of language focused in the agreement regarding the controller and asst controller, the controller received notice of non-renewal of his contract the following Monday.
This is exactly the type of agreements that SB1102 was supposed to prevent, but it doesn't go into effect until 2017 - so it looks like we still have another 18 months or so of our tax dollars being fleeced in this fashion.