DeKalb and NIU: People Problems and Money


Over the past few years when problems arise with City of DeKalb or Northern Illinois University staff, it seems the best way to resolve these issues is to offer them money and make them and the problem go away. Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised now, as it has happened many times. After all, Northern Illinois University and DeKalb have made a habit out of this sort of thing.

It has been amazing how “the Wizard” has convinced the community they are there for good, even when allegedly bad things are discovered. It is interesting when people who are publicly heroic, but privately dastardly, rely on convincing a quantity of associates and the masses that they are the real deal. Then, when the curtain is pulled back and the real “person behind the curtain” is not what the populous think, some action starts to take shape. That is until, of course, the ones in the know figure out this isn’t the “Land of Oz.”

DeKalb City Manager Anne Marie Gaura was relived of her position and the payout for her to walk away came to more than $108,000. This was after the DeKalb City Council extended her contract.

Former NIU Police Chief, Donald Grady, was also paid to go away. Grady’s attorneys received $575,000 of the settlement, while Grady will receive $425,000 from NIU’s insurer, along with $25,000 from NIU, according to court documents.

Four years after arriving as Northern Illinois University’s new president, promising a future era of ethical leadership, Doug Baker resigned in the wake of a bombshell state watchdog report that alleged improper spending during his tenure. Baker received more than $600,000 to go away (dropping all allegations of concerns).

Future News: In the wake of the newest City of DeKalb problems, the acting manager, Ms. Molly Talkington, is out on administrative leave for financial and personal issues, until such time that formal action is taken by the City Council.

If tradition holds true, the City of DeKalb will pay Molly Talkington to go away. Going rate: $100,000 (tentative).

Legal issues versus reality…people game the system and to make these problems go away…just pay them off.


    • Although I agree with your opinion of Albanese, he was only paid his accumulated sick/vacation days, as would anyone terminated by, or retiring from, NIU. Unlike someone like Baker, who received a payout of a full year of president salary and partial teaching salary, in addition to (alleged) accrued vacation days.

    • Think you are wrong Sharon May. He was Supportive Professional Staff and under that contract they are required to be paid at least a full year of salary when terminated. So, he got sick, vacation, and at least one year of salary for being “asked to resign”. Oh, and he was allowed to retire and collect his pension. The State needs to change these rules so these guys quit gaming the system. There is no incentive to be honest and ethical, quite the opposite. Saw it firsthand. Worked there 33+ years including a stint under Albanese.

    • No. He “voluntarily” separated, he was NOT paid the years salary. I saw a copy of the separation agreement.
      But yes, there should be a punishment for wrongdoing–not just a release.
      And esp under Baker, ethical and honest behavior was rewarded with termination and some ruined careers.

    • Anyone who carries on dishonestly and unethically to the point they are allowed to “voluntarily separate” rather than be terminated should forfeit those benefits. I agree about the Baker years. State Institutions need to keep detailed documents and force the issue to the court system if necessary, it would still be a cost saving, particularly for faculty and supportive professional staff. Civil Service has a model that works but most supervisors are too lazy to follow the protocol to discipline and terminate. Maybe the supervisors should also be held accountable for all Faculty, SPS and Civil Service. Tired of my tax dollars going for huge payouts, theft and coverups. Sorry. Makes my blood boil. Saw too many non-administrative people forced out because they wouldn’t play the unethical and dishonest games and truly did a good job.

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