This week’s FOIA round-up shows a light at the end of the tunnel amidst shady for-profit colleges and a local lawmakers accident prone behavior. Plus, a bill to bring some long-overdue transparency to Congress.
See a great use of public records we missed? Send over your favorite FOIA stories via email, on Twitter, or on Facebook, and maybe we’ll include them in the next round-up. And if you’d like even more inspiration, read past round-ups.
For-profit colleges graded on a curve?
Records released to The Associated Press this week via FOIA show that students are having serious issues with four-year for-profit colleges, despite college allies in the current administration. More than 24,000 federal fraud complaints were filed to the Education Department against for-profit colleges between President Donald Trump’s Jan 20th, 2017, inauguration and April 30th of this year.
The numbers follow a State of California lawsuit against San Diego based for-profit college, Ashford University. The allegations claim the college is “peddling false promises and faulty information.”
Read the AP’s full report here.
Documents obtained by The Philadelphia Inquirer shine a light on Representatives Margo Davidson’s repairs and insurance claims surpassing $30,000 for her state-funded vehicle. The site reports that the representative has had three accidents in two state vehicles over three years, including a hit-and-run fender bender this year while driving with a suspended license.
Additional records were obtained from the State Attorney General’s Office and show a settlement agreement in a 2015 case where the Representative rear-ended another vehicle while driving her state issued car.
The Inquirer Reports:
The settlement agreement in that case included a clause stating that the “terms of this agreement are confidential. “All parties to this agreement expressly agree to decline comment on any aspect of this settlement to any member of the news media,” it reads.
Read The Philadelphia Inquirer’s full report here.
Shedding light on Capitol Hill
Massachusetts very own Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced the Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act this week which highlights a set of transparency reforms that aim to bring an end to Washington corruption, influence from lobbying, and could bring some long-overdue oversight to Congress.
Among other things, Vox reports that the Senator’s bill would also “ask presidential and vice presidential candidates to, by law, disclose eight years’ worth of tax returns and place any assets that could present a conflict of interest into a blind trust to be sold off (neither of which President Donald Trump has done). Members of Congress would have to do the same with two years of tax returns.”
Read Warren’s bill embedded below.
Image by Eddie Maloney via Wikimedia Commons and is licensed under CC BY 2.0