Letter: Wisdom in NIU’s silence, actions on ‘coffee fund’
To the Editor:
This is a very chaotic time for our community. It is full of uncertainty with facts being few and hearsay running rampant.
It is times such as these that people should be able to turn to the local paper for guidance based on the facts. However, the Daily Chronicle’s recent editorial, “NIU’s actions speak loudly,” about the university’s decision to reinstate six people charged in connection with the “coffee fund” investigation clarifies no facts and continues to drive mere speculation.
Nothing was mentioned regarding the Northern Illinois University Police Department being solely responsible for this investigation, or the fact that this same department has since come under scrutiny for its investigative practices.
Former State’s Attorney Clay Campbell and Judge Robbin Stuckert have cast doubt upon the NIU police’s abilities to present all the facts (ask former NIU officer Andrew Rifkin).
The NIU police chief and a lieutenant have been placed on administrative leave.
NIU’s leadership has been quiet this whole time and criticized heavily for it. During this time, I felt they had an obligation to come forward with a statement. However, maybe there was some wisdom in the silence.
If an out-of-control, rogue police department was the only source of information, then I can see why NIU didn’t jump the gun and start automatically firing people on the spot.
Instead, officials waited to see more evidence. The problem is, no real evidence has been brought forth except the initial allegations by the NIU police. After performing their own investigation, NIU has found no fault with these people and brought them back.
They issued a statement at that time concerning the innocence of these people but also made it clear that the state’s attorney’s case was separate. Why else would NIU bring these people back unless they completely believed they were not guilty of the charges brought against them?
Neither the public nor the Chronicle – which shapes public perception – has all the facts at this point and both should quit pretending like they do. As for the state’s attorney’s case and the grand jury indictment, both are solely based on the investigation by NIU police, which as previously stated has been lambasted by Judge Stuckert and former State’s Attorney Campbell for being unreliable.