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Tardy payments in whistleblower case boosts school’s costs

February 1, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago State University has been ordered by a Cook County judge to pay $4.3 million to a school official who was fired after accusing the school’s former president of misconduct.

That’s about $1 million more than a jury awarded in 2014 to attorney James Crowley because the university has delayed paying damages in a whistleblower lawsuit. The jury in 2014 found Crowley was fired for turning over former university president Wayne Watson’s employment records to a faculty member under the state’s open records law, and for exposing questionable university contracts.

Crowley said Tuesday he hopes a newly appointed university board of trustees brings the case to a close rather than spend more money contesting the case.

In a statement, Chicago State spokeswoman Sabrina Land maintained the judgment was “an unusual and high verdict in an employment case.”

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