U.S. Dept. Of Education Files Appeal In Va. Tech Case

Ann McClure's picture
Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A dispute over $55,000 in U.S. Department of Education fines levied against Virginia Tech for its response to the April 16, 2007, campus shootings has gone to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

In an appeal to Duncan dated May 4, an Education Department attorney asked that the fines levied against Tech for alleged violations of the federal Clery Act be upheld. Administrative law judge Ernest Canellos, who works for the department’s Office of Hearings and Appeals, struck down the fines in March.

In appealing Canellos’ ruling, Education Department attorney Brian Siegel wrote to Duncan that the judge ignored relevant evidence in the case, and that he misinterpreted the legislative intent of the Clery Act.

Siegel argued that Canellos "turned the statutory requirement for a ‘timely warning’ on its head by concluding that it did not actually mean that the school’s notice had to be ‘timely’ or a ‘warning.’"

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