Ex-NIU employee allowed to leave state; awaits trial

By Galvin Kennedy

Vivian Hammoud’s attorney filed a motion at pre-trial proceedings Friday to suppress a search warrant that resulted in the confiscation of nearly 100 items from her Westmont apartment.

At the proceedings, Hammoud, a former NIU affirmative action assistant director whose apartment was rented under the name of Vivian Givan, also was permitted to leave the state until her trial begins.

“I am going to try to move to suppress the search of her (Givan) home and the statement, which may have been given to her because it is a violation of her constitutional rights,” Don Ramsell, Hammoud’s attorney, said.

“I can’t disclose specifically which rights are being violated because that would give the prosecutor an opportunity to prepare, which I don’t want him to have,” he said.

Ramsell also asked the judge to permit Hammoud to leave the state citing that she had posted the required 10 percent of the $10,000 bail and that the alleged crime is a “nonviolent, whitecollar crime.”

But Assistant State’s Attorney Duke Harris said, “Judge, we don’t want to have to spend unnecessary time and money looking for Ms. Givan when her presence in court is required.”

When the two attorneys stopped arguing why Givan should or should not be allowed to leave the state, Judge Rex Meilinger decided to permit Givan to leave the state.

Ramsell was at one time considering requesting a change of venue for the case because it has been overplayed in the media. However, he said last Tuesday that he is “comfortable with the proceedings and there doesn’t seem to be any need for the change.”

NIU’s affirmative action office hired Hammoud last January, and as a result of her submitted high credentials, paid her an annual salary, according to university records, of $33,900.

Hammoud was officially terminated April 5 for unexplained inconsistencies in her academic record.

The firing of Hammoud led to two charges of forgery, which caused university police to obtain a search warrant. The UPs seized nearly 100 items from Hammoud’s Westmont apartment, which included embossed seals from three universities, ink stamps with signatures and dates and two passports with different last names.

The court proceedings will continue on July 17 in the Sycamore court house where the state will be required to submit particular items of information that Ramsell has requested such as the search warrant, a list of all the witnesses, and “anything else that my client is entitled to.”

See Hammoud Page 10


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