Faced with Obstruction from ED, Chairman Scott Subpoenas ED Officials Regarding Dream Center Scandal
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) subpoenaed several Education Department career staff for their deposition in an investigation into the Department’s role in the misconduct of Dream Center Education Holdings, a for-profit higher education company. After over a year of investigation, the Committee found that Under Secretary Diane Auer Jones – a former for-profit education lobbyist – worked extensively on behalf of Dream Center despite knowing that two of its schools had lost their accreditation and were improperly receiving taxpayer funding.
Regrettably, as the Chairman outlines, despite releasing a trove of documents and transcripts revealing misconduct by Department officials, the Department has refused to corporate with the Committee’s investigation. The Department repeatedly ignored oversights requests or negotiated in bad faith. For example, the Department would agree to prioritize certain requested documents only to later abandon those commitments and instead produce unrelated documents as part of “data dumps.” When the Department ultimately complied and produced the necessary information, it provided almost entirely redacted without indicating why essential content was withheld.
“In short, the Committee’s attempts to accommodate the Department in good faith have not been reciprocated. On five separate occasions the Department requested accommodations from the Committee. Each time, however, the Department moved the goalposts, adding new hurdles after each concession by the Committee, producing non-compliant or nominally compliant document productions that did not advance the Committee’s investigation, and even reneging on its commitments entirely,” the Chairman concludes.
“Due to the Department’s obstruction, the Committee’s only available avenue to obtain an accurate understanding of the Department’s role in the Dream Center collapse is to pursue depositions of the knowledgeable Department officials under subpoena…The Committee will continue its oversight of this matter with the goal of getting answers about Dream Center’s collapse.”
In August, the Committee released a comprehensive report further revealing discrepancies between Under Secretary Jones’ statements to Congress and emails, text messages, and other documents uncovered during the Committee’s investigation.
To read the cover letter to the subpoena, click here.
To read the communications log between the Committee and the Department, click here.