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Ex-NIU police chief sues school in federal court

Published: Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 11:43 p.m. CDT

DEKALB – The former police chief at Northern Illinois University is suing the school, saying he wants to be reinstated to his post and get an apology from administrators.

Donald Grady, who is black, filed the federal civil rights lawsuit Wednesday, saying he was fired without being given a fair hearing and was treated differently than white employees who were implicated in a scheme to use proceeds from off-the-books sales of scrap metal.

He’s also asking for back pay for his $205,000-a-year salary, according to a report by The (DeKalb) Daily Chronicle.

Grady was fired from the post in February 2013 after being accused of mishandling evidence in an investigation into allegations that a campus police officer sexually assaulted a student. The FBI searched the school’s police station last year and seized documents related to the department. Grady has denied the accusation.

A university spokesman told the newspaper he couldn’t comment on pending litigation.

Grady led the school’s police department for more than 11 years and was police chief during the deadly campus shootings at NIU in February 2008. He earned praise for his leadership during and following the attack.

“If you look at the comparative treatment of those who are being disciplined, some are getting due process and some are not getting due process,” Grady’s lawyer, Michael Fox, said. “We’re going to court. We’re going to get our due process.”

Tom Phillips was hired last summer to take over the department that has 61 officers, 15 guards and dozens of other employees.

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Information from: The Daily Chronicle, http://www.daily-chronicle.com

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