Former College of Law dean drops suit

James Krause

DeKALB — Lawyers representing NIU and Eric Dannenmaier, former College of Law dean, reached an agreement Friday to dismiss a court case regarding a temporary restraining order filed by Dannenmaier.

The matter was dismissed by a joint agreement between Dannenmaier’s lawyer Jennifer Murphy and NIU’s general counsel Sara Cliffe in front of Judge Bradley Waller of the 23rd Judicial Circuit Court. The agreement to dismiss the case was established because of “mootness” and for “entry of consent decree,” according to court documents.

The case was originally filed by Dannenmaier July 6 to block NIU officials from releasing documents related to his disciplinary records and a Title IX investigation into allegations made against Dannenmaier of sexual harassment.

Two former College of Law employees filed the complaints against Dannenmaier in February, which led to him being put on voluntary paid administrative leave Feb. 17. The Title IX investigation found “it is more likely than not that Dannenmaier sexually harassed [the former employees] by using comments and language of a sexual nature in the workplace,” according to April 15 confidential memos from Sarah Adamski, associate director of Investigations, Affirmative Action and Equity Compliance, related to the results of the investigation.

The two former employees provided multiple news outlets, including the Northern Star, with the documents pertaining to the internal investigation.

With the documents leaked to the press, Dannenmaier, who resigned following an appeal of the investigation June 27, and his lawyers asked to pull out of the case.

Cliffe declined comment, referring the Northern Star to NIU spokesperson Joe King, who said the university is glad to end this case.

“Both sides agreed to drop the matter and move on,” King said.

Murphy previously argued against the release of the documents. She said they were “incomplete, in many ways inaccurate, and make assertions out of context,” according to court documents from July.

Murphy declined comment. Representatives of the of law firm for which she works, Wessels, Sherman, Joerg, Liszka, Laverty, Seneczko, P.C., could not be reached for comment.