NIU police chief placed on administrative leave
CHICAGO (AP) – Northern Illinois University placed its police chief on administrative leave Saturday and said it will fire another officer over the department’s handling of a sexual assault case, which has prompted allegations of misconduct.
The university announced that police chief Donald Grady was placed on leave pending the finalization of charges and disciplinary actions under the terms of his employment as well as university policies. NIU also said police Lt. Kartik Ramakrishnan, who investigated the sexual assault case, was notified that the university intends to fire him.
Former officer Andrew Rifkin is charged with felony sexual assault in the case. He has pleaded not guilty.
On Friday, Judge Stuckert refused to throw out the case despite finding investigators intentionally withheld evidence, ruling that the actions were not damaging enough to drop the charges. She said jurors would be told of the alleged misconduct by the NIU police.
The university has also appointed a new acting director of public safety to oversee the police force. He spent the day meeting with police department representatives.
“I want to assure the NIU community that we have strong protocols in place to continue to ensure the safety and security of the campus,” said the public safety director, Bill Nicklas.
The university president has asked the Illinois State Police to review the school’s law enforcement procedures.
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