NIU police chief put on leave amid sex assault scandal
Northern Illinois University Police Chief Donald Grady on Saturday was placed on administrative leave after a court found the department took part in an "egregious" and "purposeful hiding of information" in handling a sexual assault case.
Grady will be on leave pending the finalization of charges and disciplinary action, Acting Director of Public Safety Bill Nicklas said in a statement. Police chief since 2001, Grady led the force as the university dealt with campus shootings in 2008 that left five students dead.
NIU also said police Lt. Kartik Ramakrishnan was notified that the university intends to fire him.
DeKalb County Judge Robin Stuckert was hearing the case of a former NIU police officer accused of sexually assaulting a student at the school when he found on Nov. 2 that Ramakrishnan had failed to reveal statements from friends of the victim saying she had a consensual relationship with the officer.
"The findings of the court called into question the integrity of the criminal investigatory process, and we cannot under any circumstances tolerate such clear breaches of contracts, authority and responsibility," NIU President John Peters said. "Although it pains me greatly that the university had to take these actions today, we must always strive to do the right thing."
Peters earlier this week formally requested the Illinois State Police to assist in the review of university law enforcement protocols and procedures.
Nicklas, the acting director, said he wants to "assure the NIU community that we have strong protocols in place to continue to ensure the safety and security of the campus."
Deputy Chief Darren Mitchell will be in charge of the department until an acting chief is named.
Associated Press contributed to this report.
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