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July 13, 2024

NIU refuses to produce records OEIG says exist –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On June 9, 2017

DeKalb, IL. (ECWd) –

Is Northern Illinois University and Dr. Baker deliberately contradicting statements made by the Office of the Executive Inspector General in their report on NIU released May 31st?

The scathing OEIG report [here] on NIU Affiliate Employees included facts and findings regarding the hiring of the affiliate employee William Pfeiffer.  We exposed this story on November 20, 2015 [here].  In summary, the OEIG report confirms that Pfeiffer had been signed to a consulting contract for $19,999.99 and further states that Pfeiffer then submitted three invoices under this contract: 1-dated April 8, 2014 in the amount of $9,102, 2-dated May 8, 2014 in the amount of $11,557, and 3-dated June 6, 2014 in the amount of $11,959.  The report further continues

A NIU Personnel Action Form indicates that Mr. Pfeiffer was initially appointed as an affiliate employee effective May 16, 2014, for a term through May 31, 2014, for compensation of $11,557.  Mr. Pfeiffer’s affiliate appointment was subsequently extended to June 15, 2014, for compensation of $11,959.

On May 3rd 2017 a FOIA was submitted to NIU for:

1.       A copy of all contracts, purchase orders, purchase reqs., invoices, time logs, payments, etc. for William “Wally” Pfeiffer.

2.       A copy of all Personnel, HR, and Payroll records, including, but not limited to, all Personnel Action Forms, Additional Pay forms, Offer letters, resumes, job descriptions, payroll register, etc. for William “Wally” Pfeiffer.

NIU supplied some responsive documentation on May 10th.  However, some documentation was missing.  A follow-up request was sent to the NIU FOIA office on May 12th for the missing June Personnel Action Form (PAF) and the June invoice using the May PAF and invoice as an example. Subsequently, the FOIA office supplied the missing June PAF, along with the statement regarding the invoices “Per Human Resources …“the invoice she is referencing was the one that accounts payable said was reversed”, so there are no additional documents…”.  No invoice.

The OEIG report was released May 31st.  Follow-up requests for Pfeiffer’s June invoice were sent to the NIU FOIA office on May 31st and June 7th, and on both dates included the reference to the OEIG findings on Pfeiffer’s sham employment.  NIU’s response on June 8th?

The FOIA office has been in contract (sic) with both the Division of Human Resources and NIU Accounting several times and has been informed that there are not further documents responsive to your request.  Mr. Pfeiffer was a salaried employee while he was employed and as such no time sheets, time logs, etc. were required.  This request is closed at this time as all relevant documents that were located have been provided. 

The OEIG states that there were invoices for Pfeiffer.  NIU says there aren’t.  Similar to President Doug Baker’s aggrieved denial of the OEIG findings of his mismanagement of NIU, is the University also denying the existence of the Pfeiffer invoices? 

Does this mean that NIU is calling the OEIG untruthful?

Why are Illinois taxpayers supporting regulatory bodies when the agencies under review are aware that punishment is not forthcoming and therefore can exhibit a blatant disregard for the regulatory bodies’ facts and findings?  It is time to put teeth into the laws supporting regulatory bodies or eliminate them completely and let state agencies to continue to run amok. 


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