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Archive for the ‘Investigations’ Category

Sharyl Attkisson’s latest post highlights a disturbing pattern of behavior within the federal government:

After the appeal, the F.B.I. told me that its original claim (that it had no information about me) was a mistake and the agency promised to reprocess it. More time passed, and the F.B.I. sent me a few pages of cryptic material that didn’t include most of what I know exists (let alone the material of which I may not be aware).

I again told the F.B.I. that I was certain more information existed, including, for example, material from the F.B.I. background check conducted on me before I was granted a White House pass as a CBS News correspondent. Eventually, the F.B.I. notified me by letter that there was a lot of material it could send me, but I would have to agree, in advance, to pay for the costs of producing it and specify my preference between having it delivered via paper or on a CD. I answered yes, I would pay, and that I wanted the material on DVD.

I didn’t hear back from them.

Ms. Attkisson isn’t optimistic this will be resolved quickly:

It’s one of countless examples in the past decade of federal agencies thumbing their noses at Freedom of Information requests, whether filed by member of the public or news media. After all, there are no repercussions for their unlawful behavior. The information requests often fall into a bottomless pit and remain unanswered for months, even years, past their legal deadline. If and when they are answered, the responses are often incomplete, containing so many unsupported redactions and withholdings as to make them pointless.

Here’s a radical thought. Let’s have Congress write legislation that imposes a harsh penalty on the head of the noncompliant, secretive agency. Unresponsive agency management personnel should pay with their employment.

An agency’s failure to produce the information within 45 days should count as a first warning against that agency’s CEO. If the FOIA request isn’t filled in its entirety within 60 days, the agency chief should be notified that failure to comply will trigger an independent investigation into that agency by a special prosecutor. If the agency hasn’t turned over all documents requested by the citizen within 75 days, the special prosecutor will impanel a federal grand jury with the right to prosecute that agency’s chief for withholding that information.

The only charge available for that grand jury is obstruction, which would be a felony.

It’s time to tell the federal government that being unresponsive is unacceptable. The only way that’ll happen is if agency chiefs pay a price for their inaction.

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This article shows that progressives’ definition of justice isn’t predicated on verifiable facts. It’s proof that Democrats’ definition of justice is mostly about perceptions and allegations.

The trouble is that the United States, for far longer than it has been a “nation of laws”, has been a nation of injustice. And in the absence of basic justice such laws can amount to little more than codified tyranny. When a white cop, Darren Wilson, shoots an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, dead and then is not indicted, the contradiction is glaring. For a world where it is not only legal for people to shoot you dead while you walk down the street, but where they can do so in the name of the law, is one in which some feel they have nothing to lose.

It’s offensive that this liberal idiot would attempt to portray Brown as “walk[ing] down the street.” Forensic evidence shows that Brown a) robbed a convenience store, b) beat up the store manager and c) attacked Officer Wilson in Wilson’s patrol car.

Saying that that’s the equivalent of walking down the street is insulting in its dishonesty.

It is through this chasm, between the official claim to an impartial legal system and the reality of endemic racial injustice, that Wilson made his escape, with the flames of Ferguson in hot pursuit. For Wilson was not exonerated. The grand jury decided there was not even “probable cause” to put him on trial. As the website FiveThirtyEight points out, this is very rare. The Bureau of Justice reveals that in 2010 US attorneys prosecuted 162,000 federal cases, and grand juries declined to return an indictment in just 11.

What isn’t said is that these types of cases rarely get to a grand jury. In most instances, the officer would’ve been cleared because Michael Brown attacked Officer Wilson. Forensic evidence showed Brown’s fingerprints and DNA on Officer Wilson’s gun. The only time that could’ve happened was when Brown attempted to attack Officer Wilson in Officer Wilson’s patrol car.

It’s time for progressives to stop throwing accusations around so recklessly.

Britta Arendt’s article tells the story of a fantastic candidate making an impressive closing argument:

With his signature spark of energy, McFadden lit up the room during his stop at the Sawmill Inn as he raced in for a brief visit. “I love to be here in Grand Rapids where there’s the convergence of mining and timber,” said McFadden.

A vote for Mike McFadden is a vote for building pipelines and opening mines. A vote for Al Franken is a vote for more IRS investigations and being the environmental activists’ friend.

It’s a vote against mining and logging jobs. It’s a vote against farmers getting their crops to market.

Most importantly, a vote for Mike McFadden is a vote for the most qualified candidate in the race. Al Franken knows government’s nooks and crannies. Mike McFadden understands health care policy, energy policy, regulatory policy and foreign policy.

It isn’t just that we can do better. It’s that we can’t afford 6 more years of Sen. Franken’s partisanship and not getting important things done. Sen. Franken hasn’t done anything constructive to make PolyMet a reality. He’s done nothing to grow Minnesota’s companies.

That’s because he’s spent too much time doing what he’s told by President Obama, Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer. That trio don’t have Minnesota’s best interests at heart. They definitely don’t have the Iron Range’s best interests at heart.

If he’s elected, Mike McFadden will hit the ground running in DC. It’s apparent that he’ll find natural allies in the Senate in Ron Johnson, Tom Cotton, Joni Ernst and Cory Gardner.

When asked of his thoughts regarding the proposed federal listing of the long-eared bat as an endangered species because of the threat of the white-nose syndrome which could potentially shut down summer logging and timber operations, McFadden said “It’s a false choice, environment or jobs. I reject that.”

Continuing on the environment topic, McFadden addressed the proposed PolyMet mining project and said, “Science needs to be based on facts not emotions. Extreme environmentalists can cause decisions to be caught up for years in regulatory review and, in the meantime, people lose hundreds of jobs. I am running against someone who has done nothing to expedite the PolyMet project.”

Al Franken is one of the Environmental Left’s best allies. He’s repeatedly gone to bat for them, albeit quietly so he can pretend to be the miners’ friend.

Al Franken won’t fight against environmental extremists because he’s one of them. Mike McFadden will fight against the environmental extremist base of the DFL because he doesn’t owe them anything and because he he’d rather see all Minnesotans prosper than pander for special interest contributions for his next campaign.

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I’ve believed that John Chisholm, the Milwaukee County District Attorney, was a vindictive partisan prosecutor long before George Will wrote this column. Will’s column chief contribution is that it focuses attention on several key points that should receive additional highlighting. Here’s one such point:

The early-morning paramilitary-style raids on citizens’ homes were conducted by law enforcement officers, sometimes wearing bulletproof vests and lugging battering rams, pounding on doors and issuing threats. Spouses were separated as the police seized computers, including those of children still in pajamas. Clothes drawers, including the children’s, were ransacked, cellphones were confiscated and the citizens were told that it would be a crime to tell anyone of the raids.

Some raids were precursors of, others were parts of, the nastiest episode of this unlovely political season, an episode that has occurred in an unlikely place. This attempted criminalization of politics to silence people occupying just one portion of the political spectrum has happened in Wisconsin, which often has conducted robust political arguments with Midwestern civility.

That’s what the threats and intimidation wing of the Democratic Party looks like. John Chisholm is a thug with institutionalized authority to ruin innocent people’s lives. He’s the ‘leader’ of the Wisconsin chapter of the Democratic Party’s threats and intimidation wing.

In collaboration with Wisconsin’s misbegotten Government Accountability Board, which exists to regulate political speech, Chisholm has misinterpreted Wisconsin campaign law in a way that looks willful. He has done so to justify a “John Doe” process that has searched for evidence of “coordination” between Walker’s campaign and conservative issue advocacy groups.

On Oct. 14, much too late in the campaign season to rescue the political-participation rights of conservative groups, a federal judge affirmed what Chisholm surely has known all along: Since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling 38 years ago, the only coordination that is forbidden is between candidates and independent groups that go beyond issue advocacy to “express advocacy”, explicitly advocating the election or defeat of a particular candidate.

Why Wisconsin ever passed these John Doe laws is inexplicable. It’s authority to start a fishing expedition, something that’s contrary to the principles of probable cause and the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. Chisholm’s goal might’ve already been achieved:

But Chisholm’s aim, to have a chilling effect on conservative speech, has been achieved by bombarding Walker supporters with raids and subpoenas: Instead of raising money to disseminate their political speech, conservative individuals and groups, harassed and intimidated, have gone into a defensive crouch, raising little money and spending much money on defensive litigation. Liberal groups have not been targeted for their activities that are indistinguishable from those of their conservative counterparts.

I’ve written before about weaponized government. Chisholm’s investigation (I hate using that term in this context) fits that description perfectly. It’s the personification of weaponized government.

It’s worth noting this sentence:

Liberal groups have not been targeted for their activities that are indistinguishable from those of their conservative counterparts.

I’ve seen nasty forms of weaponized government but this is the nastiest form of it. Law enforcement officials participating in this should be investigated, too. Their actions furthered this unconstitutional exercise of abusive government. Hans Spakovsky’s op-ed nails it:

Oral arguments were heard Tuesday before the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in O’Keefe vs. Chisholm, the so-called John Doe investigation in which local prosecutors in Wisconsin tried to criminalize political speech and activity on public issues. The 7th Circuit should uphold the lower court decision halting this Star Chamber investigation that violated basic First Amendment rights.

The fact that such a secret persecution of citizen advocacy organizations even occurred ought to be an embarrassment to a state that prides itself on being a progressive bastion of individual freedom. It is more reminiscent of a banana republic than the world’s foremost democracy.

Chisholm should be disbarred for intentionally violating private citizens’ civil rights. Then he should be tried and, hopefully, be convicted, then incarcerated for many years. He’s a nasty person helping the Democratic Party chill political speech. Saying that his actions are intimidating and that his tactics are the type that would be approved of by Joe McCarthy is understatement.

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Part I of this series highlighted a timeline of events that led to the termination of Todd Hoffner, the head football coach at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Part II highlighted some of President Davenport’s rationalizations for terminating Coach Hoffner. This post will highlight the substantive complaints from Coach Hoffner’s attorneys. This paragraph is particularly noteworthy:

Second, in that same section, the OLA report devotes an entire paragraph to President Davenport’s justification for his reaction to the charges against Coach Hoffner and, specifically, the description of the Pennsylvania State University sex scandal. No comparable explanation from Coach Hoffner is included, nor is the fundamental distinguishing fact that the alleged conduct that MSU Mankato investigated had nothing to do with sexual abuse or similar conduct with respect to MSU Mankato students.

Comparing the Hoffner situation with what happened at Penn State is foolish. According to a footnote in the OLA’s report, Penn State’s high-level administrators, including Penn State’s president at the time, “were indicted for endangering the welfare of children, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury. They are awaiting trial.” In Coach Hoffner’s case, he didn’t exercise good judgment. Still, the Blue Earth County judge that dismissed the charges said that “the children acted silly, playful and age appropriate.”

There’s a little bit of hyperbole in this paragraph:

To omit from the OLA’s report even the most basic of facts in this regard is misleading and profoundly unfair. The notion that a person could equate Coach Hoffner with Jerry Sandusky is absurd, and that a person could draw such a comparison exemplifies why that person should not have the authority to make life-changing employment decisions affecting others.

First, Hoffner’s attorneys went a little overboard in saying that President Davenport shouldn’t “have the authority to make life-changing employment decisions affecting others.” That being said, Hoffner’s attorneys are right in saying that comparing Coach Hoffner’s actions with Sandusky’s is absurd. They aren’t close to being similar, much less close to being the same thing.

Jerry Sandusky is serving a minimum of 30 years in prison. According to Wikipedia, which I realize isn’t always the most accurate website, “Specifically, Sandusky was convicted of the following charges and counts: eight counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, seven counts of indecent assault, one count of criminal intent to commit indecent assault, nine counts of unlawful contact with minors, 10 counts of corruption of minors and 10 counts of endangering the welfare of children. Cleland immediately revoked Sandusky’s bail and remanded him to the Centre County Correctional Facility to await sentencing.”

It shouldn’t be difficult for university presidents to differentiate between a man who was investigated and had charges dropped and a man convicted of “eight counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, seven counts of indecent assault, one count of criminal intent to commit indecent assault [and] nine counts of unlawful contact with minors…” I’m betting that most high school students could differentiate between the two.

Simply put, this would be a disaster for President Davenport if the MnSCU Chancellor, aka Davenport’s boss, were a principled man or if the DFL-chaired Higher Ed committees took their oversight responsibilities seriously. Since neither is the case, it isn’t likely that this will hurt President Davenport.

That’s the biggest of disasters in this entire situation.

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Something kept gnawing at me after I wrote this post. Here’s what kept bothering me:

That probe, begun almost 18 months ago, had centered on whether the university failed to return federal financial aid money it was required to return if the students whose grades were changed became ineligible to keep that financial aid.

I’ve finally figured out why that bothered me. The transcript scandal was pushed by the Faculty Association during their monthly Meet&Confer meetings with President Potter and members of his administration. If the FA hadn’t pushed the subject, it wouldn’t have seen the light of day.

That’s proven by the verifiable facts surrounding the scandal. First, as I wrote here, SCSU administration doesn’t think that an investigation is needed:

FA: I have a clarifying question. I heard you say this is a preliminary investigation at looking so once you do your preliminary then am I hearing you say then you will decide what your next step is going to be in terms of your going after other data collection for the past four years before this?

Admin: Sure so then we have as to what kind of data is relevant and we go there and we can collect the information so that it makes sense for you. The other thing is I won’t call it an investigation I would call analysis. So it’s a data analysis to understand if there is a spike and then understand whether it is due to factors outside our control or if it is factors of the band of discretion becoming wider.

Second, Potter’s administration hasn’t talked with professors who’ve reported students’ participation in their class deleted:

Chemistry Prof. Tamara Leenay also noticed discrepancies in 2012 and gave the documentation to McKenna. “It was just odd, all of the sudden, these grades are being changed,” she said.

Leenay said she has been out of state on vacation and did not meet with federal investigators. She also said that since she discovered the discrepancies and shared them with McKenna, no one from the administration has talked to her about the issue or asked for her records.

These incidents are proof that the Potter administration isn’t interested in investigating this scandal. This isn’t open to various interpretations. There’s just one explanation for the Potter administration’s inaction. They weren’t interested in the transcript scandal.

That’s important to the claim that “the probe” “had centered on whether the University failed to return federal financial aid money.”

Think about this. Why would professors worry about something that’s the administration’s responsibility? The professors consistently spoke out about the disappearing grades. LFR has covered this story extensively and exhaustively. LFR has reported more details about this scandal than all the other news agencies in the state…combined. While it’s true that professors I’ve interviewed on background were curious if SCSU had returned federal financial aid money, that was always a secondary issue. Transcript integrity and the damage done to SCSU’s academic reputation always topped their list of concerns.

That’s as it should be. Professors have enough responsibilities. They shouldn’t be required to monitor whether the administration has dealt with financial assistance from the federal government. That’s the administration’s responsibility.

The University’s insistence that the transcript scandal was always about “whether the university failed to return federal financial aid money” is pure Potter spin. That’s consistent. One of the things that’s been consistent from the Potter administration about this scandal is their spin. The other thing that’s been consistent about the Potter administration’s behavior during the transcript scandal is that they’ve refused to conduct a serious investigation into this major breech of academic integrity.

The only thing that’s worse than the Potter administration’s dishonesty is the St. Cloud Times’ gullibility.

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After reading this Our View editorial, it’s clear that the St. Cloud Times doesn’t understand what the transcript scandal at St. Cloud State is about.

That probe, begun almost 18 months ago, had centered on whether the university failed to return federal financial aid money it was required to return if the students whose grades were changed became ineligible to keep that financial aid.

That isn’t how the scandal started. That came months later. By the time the US Department of Education showed up on the SCSU campus, along with the FBI, members of the FA had started questioning the Potter administration about why students’ participation in classes were disappearing from SCSU’s official transcript system. By the time the FBI and the DoE visited SCSU, the Potter administration had told the Faculty Association that they didn’t view the transcript scandal as an investigation. The Potter administration said that they thought of it as data analysis:

FA: I have a clarifying question. I heard you say this is a preliminary investigation at looking so once you do your preliminary then am I hearing you say then you will decide what your next step is going to be in terms of your going after other data collection for the past four years before this?

Admin: Sure so then we have as to what kind of data is relevant and we go there and we can collect the information so that it makes sense for you. The other thing is I won’t call it an investigation I would call analysis. So it’s a data analysis to understand if there is a spike and then understand whether it is due to factors outside our control or if it is factors of the band of discretion becoming wider.

It’s clear that the Potter administration, including Devinder Malhotra, then SCSU’s Provost, and Adam Hammer, President Potter’s spokesman, spun the situation:

In addressing this concern at a meet and confirm meeting conducted amongst university professors and administration, Hammer said the cause for concern primarily dealt with late drops and withdrawals.

Recently, questions about student registration and transcript changes, specifically late withdrawals and drops, at St. Cloud State University have been reported in a few media outlets. — Devinder Malhotra

Here’s what Tamara Leenay said about the scandal:

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Last spring, Tamara Leenay, a chemistry professor at St. Cloud State University, was reviewing grades when she came across the transcript of a student who failed an organic chemistry class she taught a couple of years earlier.

“I noticed the course was not even on his transcript,” Leenay said. “There was no ‘F.’ There was no course number…It was completely gone. And I have [a] record that he was in my class and that I gave him a grade…and I was never notified of any of these changes.”

The St. Cloud Times either doesn’t know about this video or they simply chose to not report on it:

In the video, Dr. Tracey Ore explained how easy it is to scrub grades from students’ transcripts:

PROFESSOR: How long, um, how, Tracy, how long will it be ah, I guess she got the grades off of there. Is that, is that a semester-long process or is that a short process?
DR. ORE: It can happen in a day.
PROFESSOR: Oh, ok.
DR. ORE: When I did it last year, Sue wanted to meet with me and say here’s my documentation and it might have to check with disability student services, check with the math department, check with whoever else. Considering all this, yeah…

I wrote that in late January, 2014. The St. Cloud Times has never reported on this tape. I know they have it because professors who met with them told them about it.

Contrary to the St. Cloud Times’ Editorial Board’s editorial, this isn’t about the Faculty Association making additional suggestions. It’s about the Potter administration’s admitting that people within the administration, starting with Dr. Tracy Ore, started altering students’ transcripts without justification. It’s about the Potter administration conducting a thorough investigation into what really happened. That thorough investigation must start with interviewing Dr. Tamara Leenay, Dr. Phyllis VanBuren and other professors whose students had their transcripts altered to remove failing grades after they’d completed their classes.

Finally, it’s time the St. Cloud Times stopped accepting everything President Potter, Bernie Omann and Adam Hammer said as gospel fact. It’s time they started questioning their statements because their statements are questionable, if not laughable.

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If there’s any message that President Potter wants to get spread far and wide, it’s that the US Department of Education just closed its investigation into the SCSU transcript scandal:

The department was investigating whether St. Cloud State failed to return federal financial aid money it was required to return if the students whose grades were changed became ineligible to keep that financial aid.

Federal officials were on campus in the summer of 2013, asking questions of current and former employees. Officials were investigating allegations that school administrators had changed poor or failing grades to drops or withdrawals on the transcripts of mostly minority students, affecting their ability to remain enrolled as full-time students.

The original allegation was that many of the students whose grades were altered were receiving some form of federal assistance through grants or loans and that money was not returned to the Department of Education as it should have been.

According to the Meet and Confer minutes from the Oct. 18, 2012 meeting, the FA, aka the Faculty Association, didn’t mention anything about federal grants or loans. Here’s what they did mention:

So officially what we would like to do is have data for FY07 through 12 of each semester and summer session the number of late withdrawals that are signed off after and the number of late withdrawals that faculty were not involved in. I saw three in one day in my department where the faculty were not consulted last spring and so I know its happening. Perhaps an even more concerning issue of the faculty is the number of transcript, and I don’t know a way to describe it but I am going to use alterations where students are removed from being listed as having been enrolled.

Though it’s legitimate to worry if federal financial aid money was handled properly, it’s clear that that wasn’t the FA’s initial concern. The FA’s worry was that grades were being deleted from the students’ transcripts and that those deletions weren’t justified.

At least according to Meet and Confer minutes, it didn’t have anything to do with breaking federal laws.

What’s important is what the US Department of Education didn’t say. The US DoE didn’t say that transcripts weren’t deleted. The US DoE didn’t say that the grades that were deleted were justifiable. The US DoE didn’t investigate whether SCSU followed long-standing policy or whether SCSU improperly deleted records of a student’s participation in a class.

Tamara Leenay knows about that:

ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Last spring, Tamara Leenay, a chemistry professor at St. Cloud State University, was reviewing grades when she came across the transcript of a student who failed an organic chemistry class she taught a couple of years earlier.

“I noticed the course was not even on his transcript,” Leenay said. “There was no ‘F.’ There was no course number…It was completely gone. And I have [a] record that he was in my class and that I gave him a grade…and I was never notified of any of these changes.”

That’s the heart of the SCSU transcript scandal in a nutshell. A student took a class, did all the work for it and still failed. Then the student’s participation in the class was deleted from SCSU’s official transcripts.

The thing that President Potter doesn’t want to talk about is whether a student who simply fails a class should be able to get that F permanently deleted as though it never happened. Certainly, there are justifications for late drops and withdrawals. There isn’t a justification for deleting a student’s failing a class.

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It isn’t that Dave Unze’s article for the SCTimes isn’t accurate. It’s that it doesn’t speak to the initial, central complaint. Here’s what I’m talking about:

The U.S. Department of Education has closed an investigation at St. Cloud State University without a finding of wrongdoing after looking into changes to students’ transcripts.

The Office of Inspector General determined that “there appears to be no federal violation” of student loan rules and the “case is recommended for closure,” according to information provided to the St. Cloud Times through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The department was investigating whether the university failed to return federal financial aid money it was required to return if the students whose grades were changed became ineligible to keep that financial aid.

It’s true that the US Department of Education visited SCSU’s campus. Likewise, they visited because they’d gotten complaints that some federal laws might’ve been broken. Still, it’s misleading to suggest that that’s the heart of the scandal. It’s what the Potter administration has worked hard to portray as the heart of the scandal but it isn’t close to being the heart of the scandal. This gets to the heart of the scandal:

Two years ago, a student in my class completed all requirements but the final, requesting to take the final in early January. She did not then nor in April, when another faculty member contacted me on her behalf for yet another chance. Her grade for the semester was a solid F — even if she would have earned 100 percent on the written final.

However, a year later, she requested a withdrawal for all her courses. I provided detailed evidence that she had completed the semester and reasons for denying the appeal. I later received an email that her request had been granted despite my recommendation. I contacted the registrar’s office to learn that two professors had denied her request and two had complied. Yet a W was awarded for all four classes. My prompt reaction re-instated the earned grade for my class.

That isn’t the only example of the Potter administration trying to pervert SCSU’s transcript system. MPR’s article documents what’s at the heart of the Potter-SCSU transcript scandal:

Last spring, Tamara Leenay, a chemistry professor at St. Cloud State University, was reviewing grades when she came across the transcript of a student who failed an organic chemistry class she taught a couple of years earlier.

“I noticed the course was not even on his transcript,” Leenay said. “There was no ‘F.’ There was no course number … It was completely gone. And I have [a] record that he was in my class and that I gave him a grade … and I was never notified of any of these changes.”

That’s the heart of the Potter-SCSU transcript scandal. It wasn’t that transcripts were getting changed without a professor’s permission. It’s that people who had taken courses, completed their assignments, then failed their class talked the Potter administration into eliminating a student’s participation in a class from their transcript.

I’m happy to hear that SCSU didn’t break federal laws while corrupting their official transcript system. Unfortunately, students’ grades were deleted from St. Cloud State’s transcripts after they’d done the work but failed the classes.

If a student does all the work for the class, then fails, that student shouldn’t have the right to petition the administration to have that grade removed. Deleting a student’s participation in a class from the transcripts is dishonest.

The investigation determined that a “large amount” of the transcript alterations were from “a backlog of late-withdraw requests, not no-show students, and that most of the transcript alterations affected students that attended classes for some time and were thus eligible to keep a portion or all of the Title IV aid they received.”

President Potter, former Provost Malhotra and spokesman Adam Hammer have tried portraying the situation as being about late drops and withdrawals. Nobody protested the fact that late drops and withdrawals were appropriate in certain situations. The faculty’s protests were about students who had their participation in class scrubbed from their official transcripts after the student failed the professor’s class.

President Potter still insists that that there never was a problem and that this was all about some professors venting. It’s unfortunate that President Potter didn’t take this seriously. It’s worse that the SCTimes didn’t do a real investigation. What’s worst is that the SCTimes just took President Potter’s word hook, line and sinker.

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Gov. Dayton’s MNsure problems just got bigger. KSTP’s investigation into MNsure has led them to “emails between Minnesota House Research staff and the Minnesota Department of Health” that show state officials and MNsure have known that MNsure was placing people incorrectly on Medicaid:

Internal emails obtained by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS show MNsure and other state officials were aware people who made too much money were placed on Medicaid, which is for low-income people.

We first reported Tuesday the Minnesota Legislative Auditor was investigating complaints that MNsure was placing people incorrectly on Medicaid. Now, we have emails between Minnesota House Research staff and the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) that show state officials and MNsure have known about this problem since January of this year.

Mike Franklin is one of those people. Franklin and his wife combined make more than the $65,000 limit for dependent children to qualify for Medicaid, yet Franklin says he received notice from MNsure that his children had been placed on Medicaid without his consent. Franklin says he even received notices that Medicaid had paid some medical bills for his two children, even after he asked MNsure to discontinue the coverage because he did not qualify. Franklin says it took six months and action by an Administrative Judge to discontinue the Medicaid policy.

Now that we know what happened, it’s time to find out why this happened. Why would MNsure and the Department of Human Services knowingly put the Franklin’s children into Medicaid when they should’ve been put on the Franklins’ private insurance policy?

Why wouldn’t MNsure and the Department of Human Services want people on private insurance plans? More importantly, why would MNsure and/or Minnesota’s Department of Human Services obey the law? The $65,000 limit isn’t a suggestion. It’s the law. Don’t Lucinda Jesson and Scott Leitz think that the laws pertain to them? Is it that they think that they know what’s best?

DHS declined an interview request and issued this statement: “We are closing cases (Medicaid) every day and will continue to do so.”

TRANSLATION: We’ll obey the law the minute we’re caught.

The Dayton era of mismanagement and corruption keeps rumbling along.

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