Grady’s racial discrimination lawsuit moves ahead

By Jackie Nevarez

Judge Harry Leinenweber, in a 26-page decision, has allowed for the civil rights lawsuit of Don Grady, former NIU Police chief, to proceed.

Grady attorney Michael Fox said this decision allows him to acquire more information to move the case forward, including depositions and testimony of the people involved.

“We actually get to sit people down under oath and ask them questions, we get to see documents, we get to subpoena documents, we get to require production of documents,” Fox said.

The lawsuit was filed on Feb. 19 against members of the Board of Trustees, former NIU President John Peters and several other administrators. It claims Grady faced racial discrimination, retaliation and denial of due process.

Grady’s employment was ended in February 2013 after being placed on paid leave in November 2012 when Judge Robbin Stuckert ruled there was purposeful hiding of two witness statements by the NIU Police Department in the case of Andrew Rifkin, a former police officer who faced charges of sexually assaulting a student.

After his termination, Grady said the disciplinary action taken against him was “worse than other Caucasian employees who were involved in more serious misconduct,” according to Leninweber’s decision, alluding to the NIU employees involved in the Coffee Fund, where employees sold university-owned scrap metal for personal gain.

Grady is seeking reinstatement, back and front pages and punitive damages, among other things.