The FBI and other law enforcement authorities are executing a search warrant today at the Northern Illinois University police station.
The search warrant stems from an ongoing criminal investigation, the FBI said. The other agencies involved are the Illinois State Police and the inspector general offices of the U.S. departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development.
At least some NIU police officers were asked to leave the station today, while others were being interviewed by the authorities, the Tribune has learned.
"Today's activity is not in response to any public safety concerns," the FBI said in a statement. "During the execution of the warrant, the public safety functions of the NIU police department will continue uninterrupted."
NIU issued a statement saying only that "the university is cooperating fully in this matter."
NIU, based in DeKalb, has faced its share of scandals this academic year.
Longtime campus police chief, Donald Grady, was fired last month. The dismissal came after he was put on paid leave last year for his department's alleged misconduct in a high-profile rape case, and five months after he asked the FBI for help investigating university finances.
The officer accused in the rape case, Andrew Rifkin, was re-indicted last month for allegedly assaulting an NIU freshman in 2011. The charges had been previously dropped after prosecutors said the police department mishandled the investigation.
The former DeKalb County state's attorney and NIU President John Peters have said they requested assistance from the Illinois State Police to look into how the campus police handled the case.
Separately, Grady asked for FBI help in August as his department was investigating the conduct of two high-ranking university administrators who had resigned for misconduct.
It's unclear whether the FBI presence on campus Wednesday is related to his request for help or his firing.
The NIU police department also had been investigating a so-called coffee fund, an alleged scheme in which employees were selling university scrap materials and depositing the money in a private, unauthorized account known as the "coffee fund." Eight employees and a former employee face criminal charges in the matter.
The slush fund was used to pay for holiday parties, retirement celebrations and other social occasions, officials have said.
That investigation was closed when Grady was suspended last year.
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