NIU Approves $600K Settlement With Former Comptroller

May 9, 2019

The Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees approved on Thursday a $600,000 settlement reached last month with the school's former comptroller.

Credit Susan Stephens

Keith Jackson filed lawsuits against against the board and other NIU officials in 2015 after being placed on involuntary administrative leave and in 2017 after his employment was terminated. Jackson said he was fired in retaliation because he refused to sign off on former interim chief financial officer Nancy Suttenfield's hiring by former President Doug Baker, which he said violated state law. Jackson says the administration response denied him due process and it publicly implicated him in a felony to justify its actions. 

The money will be paid by the university's insurance carrier. NIU will also furnish a letter of reference noting Jackson's work at the school, and the integrity with which he served. In return, Jackson will dismiss all claims and will not disparage the university or its employees.  

Jackson was charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor in 2012 over mis-appropriation of university property for the so-called "coffee fund," but all charges were dropped in 2013.