DeKALB – About a month after filing her initial complaint, DeKalb County Board member Misty Haji-Sheikh has taken the next step in an attempt to stop Northern Illinois University’s $600,000 severance agreement with former President Doug Baker. HajiSheikh filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction Thursday against the university’s Board of Trustees.
The suit claims the “final action” the board took on Baker’s contract during its June 15 meeting was invalid because of violations of the Open Meetings Act.
Judge Bradley Waller will hear the motion at 9 a.m. Friday in Courtroom 200 at the DeKalb County Courthouse.
Haji-Sheikh’s lawyer, Charles Philbrick of Wheaton-based Rathje Woodward LLC, said if the temporary restraining order, which lasts 10 days, is granted, a preliminary injunction will be considered. That would prevent the board from moving forward with a particular course of conduct until a decision has been made on the case.
“Often when injunctive relief is filed, there is a great deal of need, and it’s so important that you would need to move without notifying your opponent, but this is not one of those cases,” Philbrick said. “We want the college to consider this position, and we notified them that we intend to do that.”
Baker resigned after the release of a report from the Office of Executive Inspector General concluding he mismanaged the university by hiring several employees as highpaying consultants and improperly classified their positions to skirt state collective bidding requirements.
NIU spokesman Joe King said the university had no comment on this matter, since it involves possible pending litigation.