CHICAGO (CN) – The City Colleges of Chicago wrongly fired a dean after he discovered four decomposing bodies in an unrefrigerated “walk-in” safe in one its buildings and he pressed to ferret out the responsible parties, the educator claims.
City Colleges operates seven colleges located within the City of Chicago, one of which is Malcolm X College, where Dr. Micah Young worked as Dean of Health Sciences and Career Programs.
In a lawsuit filed in Cook County circuit court, Young says he received nothing but positive performance reviews until the day he was fired for supposed “performance issues.”
He says the real reason for his termination is his discovery in June 2014 of “unidentified, decomposing human bodies stored in cardboard boxes at Malcolm X College.”
Young says he immediately advised Dr. Anthony Munroe, the president of the college, of his discovery, and that Munroe’s subsequent inquiries revealed that several staff members were previously aware of the existence and improper storage of the bodies.
According to the complaint, Young told Munroe that the storages of the cadavers in the safe violated numerous workplace safety, public health and other regulations, and “that countless employees, students and other visitors of Malcolm X College have been and continued to be exposed, through iar vents, to bacteria and germs from decaying human bodies.”
Young says he urged that something be done immediately to address this unnecessary health risk.
It was later discovered that eight other bodies are stored in similar conditions at other city colleges.
He also claims to have complained to Munroe that the colleges had a “willful disrespect and utter indifference for human decency” by going against the “legal, dignified and respectful treatment of the cadavers.”
Young says that during his investigation, he realized that the vendor for research cadavers, the Anatomical Gift Association of Illinois, does not provide unidentified bodies and questioned Munroe about their origins. He claims he also found that the college spent $10,000 storing the bodies offsite during prior renovations.
On February 4, 2015, Young was fired for alleged performance issues, a week after he had an interview with an investigator with the Inspector General of the colleges about his discoveries and concerns.
Young seeks unspecified damages on claims of wrongful discharge, retaliatory discharge, and violations of the Illinois Whistleblower Act.
He is represented by Holman & Stefanowicz in Chicago.
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