Professor Protess: NU's 'wild accusations' false

In this Oct. 26, 2009 file photo, Northwestern University professor David Protess, founder of the Medill Innocence Project, talks with journalism students at a reporting strategy session in Evanston Ill. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

April 7, 2011 10:15:29 AM PDT
Northwestern University accused a renowned journalism professor of ''knowingly making false and misleading statements'' to the university, lawyers and students.

According to a statement released Wednesday by NU, "Such actions undermine the integrity of Medill, the University, the Innocence Project, students, alumni, faculty, the press, the public, the State and the Court."

David Protess said the school is using "wild accusations to justify a suspension from teaching that violates their own rules."

Protess and his class, part of the Medill Innocence Project, came under fire during the investigation into Anthony McKinney's murder conviction. Cook County prosecutors subpoenaed documents from Protess, including student memos and grades.

Northwestern said Protess knowingly withheld information from the prosecutors. Protess denies that allegation.

The Medill Innocence Project is credited with helping to free more than 10 wrongfully convicted men.

Protess is on leave for the spring quarter. He said he plans to launch a nonprofit, Chicago Innocence Project, that would draw students from Chicago colleges.