Charges Dismissed Against Keith Jackson in NIU Coffee Fund Case

SYCAMORE – DeKalb County State’s Attorney Richard Schmack announced today that his office has dismissed all charges against Keith Jackson in connection to the ‘NIU Coffee Fund’ case. The case relates to the deposit of the proceeds from metal recycling at the University into a departmental account controlled by the Materials Management Department at the University, rather than the funds being paid over to the State of Illinois. While there is no evidence that the fund was ever used for anyone’s personal enrichment, all profits from recycling at all state agencies are to be directed to the state Department of Central Management Services in accordance with the provisions of the State Property Control Act and the administrative rules of that Department. NIU has reimbursed the Department for the diverted funds.

Jackson is the controller for the University and in that capacity should properly have had control over all university bank accounts, even those maintained by individual departments for limited purposes. It does not appear that he was aware of the existence of the so-called ‘coffee fund’ bank account in the Materials Management Department. When the fund became a matter of public knowledge, Jackson, acting at the direction of superiors, who had also been unaware of the account, took control of the funds and deposited them into another university account properly under his control.

After full analysis of the facts, it is the opinion of the State’s Attorney that Jackson acted fully and properly within the scope of his employment, without criminal aim or purpose, and the ends of justice would not be served by his continued prosecution. The Department of Central Management Services, as the aggrieved party in the diversion of the funds, was consulted prior to dismissal of these charges, and concurred in this result. Charges against the other four defendants remain open, and, consistent with established policy, the Office of the DeKalb County State’s Attorney will not provide further comment pending the resolution of those cases.

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