Cook County Record

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Chicago State University faces another whistleblower suit

By Ben Hart | Apr 2, 2014

A former employee of Chicago State University has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the school, alleging he was fired for exposing concerns about the university's president.

Glenn Meeks filed the suit March 25 in the Cook County Circuit Court against Chicago State University; its president Wayne Watson; the university's Board of Trustees; and trustees Anthony Young, James T. Joyce, Michael Curtain, Spencer Leak Jr., Horace Smith and Nikki M. Zollar.

Meeks' suit, which alleges retaliatory discharge, comes less than a month after a federal judge in Chicago boosted a nearly $2.5 million jury award to James Crowley, a former university employee who brought a whistleblower suit against the university.

Crowley, the school's former senior legal counsel, sued in 2010 over claims he was fired in retaliation for complying with public record laws and reporting misconduct.

A judge last month ordered the university to pay Crowley more than $3 million, after doubling the jury's back pay award and adding in interest. Both sides are set to submit briefs this month regarding attorney's fees and reinstatement with a hearing set for May 6.

Meeks, who served as vice president of administration and finance from November 2009 until his March 2013 termination, asserts in his suit he was fired after discovering and exposing allegedly deceitful actions taken by Watson, the university's president.

In his suit, Meeks claims Watson hired friends who were not qualified, created a position for his girlfriend, had friends threaten to take away their donations to the university if he were let go and increased the school's spending even though enrollment was declining.

Meeks asserts he brought his concerns to certain members of the Board of Trustees and was ultimately terminated from his position at the university for exposing Watson's deceitfulness, the suit states.

Meeks is seeking back pay, future lost wages, damages, attorney's fees and court costs. He is being represented in the case by Chicago attorneys David Heilmann and Christopher R. Henson of Clausen Miller P.C.

Bethany Krajelis contributed to this article.

Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 2014L003438.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the Cook County Courthouse. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note, a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it only represents one side of the story.

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