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Ex-ISU President Pleads Not Guilty To Misdemeanor

Timothy Flanagan shortly after becoming the president of Illinois State University.

Timothy Flanagan shortly after becoming the president of Illinois State University. (Illinois State University)

Former Illinois State University President Timothy Flanagan has pleaded not guilty to a disorderly conduct charge.

The charge stems from an alleged altercation between Flanagan and a grounds crew worker outside of the university-owned presidents' residence on Dec. 5. Flanagan has acknowledged yelling at the employee but denies he spat on or made contact with the man.

On Wednesday, Flanagan sat stoically with his wife at the back of a McLean County courtroom as his attorney Stephanie Wong entered the not guilty plea. Wong said Flanagan will vigorously defend the case.

“This has got to be the most highly publicized Class C misdemeanor in the history of the legal profession,” said McLean County State's Attorney Jason Chambers.

Flanagan resigned last month, days before the misdemeanor charge was filed. He faces a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail, a $1,500 dollar fine, and 30 hours community service. Prosecutors sometimes upgrade misdemeanor cases to felonies based on how the case unfolds. Chambers declined to predict what might happen.

“I don’t know if we’re far enough along to do that,” Chambers explained. “I’ve always said that every case is something that’s influx.”

The next court date in the case is May 28. After the case became public and Flanagan resigned his post with ISU, he received a $480,000 partial payout of his contract.

University officials have declined comment on Murphy's dismissal, calling it a confidential personnel matter.