CHICAGO (AP) – A Cook County jury awarded $2.5 million to a former Chicago State University lawyer who claimed he was fired for reporting improprieties to the Illinois attorney general.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports (http://bit.ly/NzkrSl ) 47-year-old James Crowley was awarded $2 million in damages and $480,000 in back pay. The jury also said CSU needed to reinstate Crowley to his position as senior legal counsel at the school.
Preston Pugh is an attorney for the school. He said they were considering an appeal and says Crowley wasn’t fired in retaliation. Instead, CSU says he was fired for misusing school money to pay for parking and directing scholarship money for friend, among other issues.
An Illinois Attorney General spokeswoman says the case may be the first whistleblower claim under Illinois’ decade-old ethics act.