University must pay $3M in damages to public records whistleblower

That would be at Chicago State University. Apparently the president fired a university attorney who refused to go along with an attempt to hide public records. This would never happen at the University of Oregon.

A new judge has just affirmed the verdict against the president and board of trustees, and increased the award to include legal fees, etc. Details from the CSU faculty muckraking blog, here:

In a 44-page, harshly worded opinion against Chicago State, Cook County Judge James McCarthy said there were no reasons to overturn the verdict and that the large sum was intended to send a message. The jury had found that former university employee James Crowley was fired in 2010 in retaliation for reporting alleged misconduct by top university officials, …

Crowley’s lawsuit — filed against the South Side university, Watson and the seven trustees on the board in 2010 — alleged that he was fired after he refused to withhold documents about Watson’s employment requested under the state’s public records law, and for reporting questionable contracts to the attorney general’s office.

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2 Responses to University must pay $3M in damages to public records whistleblower

  1. nom says:

    “Apparently the president fired a university attorney after he refused to go along with an attempt to hide public records. This would never happen at the University of Oregon.”

    Hmmm …

  2. Phillip Beverly says:

    The withholding of public records shamefully continues at CSU. In the Crowley case, I testified for the plaintiff against the university about my FOIA requests, the ones that led to Mr. Crowley’s firing. In that testimony, it was determined that at our institution, I am the “King of FOIA”, so much so that the university has stopped responding to my requests altogether, thus forcing me to petition the Illinois Attorney General’s Office for the information I am entitled to by law. I cannot allow myself to believe that other public bodies would behave in such a way.
    Say it isn’t so, Joe.