Politics

CREW: What is the Education Dept. hiding?

Jonathan Strong Contributor

Top government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed its third consecutive lawsuit to compel the release of documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Wednesday, and officials at the group are asking why it’s been so difficult to pry the documents loose.

“Education’s refusal to process this straight-forward request suggests DOE has something to hide,” said CREW Chief Counsel Anne Weismann in a written statement.

At issue in this FOIA request are the calendars for Robert Shireman and James Kvaal, two officials with key roles in creating the gainful employment regulation that’s now under White House review.

The calendars would show how frequently the two officials met with Wall Street short sellers who pushed the strict new regulations alongside a slew of left-wing policy groups.

“If DOE officials’ contacts with Wall Street investors were totally above-board, there would be no reason to withhold the calendars and appointment records. The department’s continuing refusal to comply with CREW’s requests, however, suggests there may have been improper conduct,” Weismann said.

The Education Department has said its process on the gainful employment regulation has been above board and a model of transparency.