Hearing on Harrison Career Institute moved to D.C.
Thursday, September 29, 2005
By JEANNE RIDGWAY
Witnesses who have been asked to participate in an administrative hearing about Harrison Career Institute now will testify in Washington, D.C.
HCI, a chain of 13 for-profit vocational schools with headquarters here, is accused by the U.S. Department of Education of fraudulent use of taxpayer-supported student loan money.
The original hearing, set to begin Wednesday in Philadelphia, was canceled at the last minute by Judge Ernest C. Canellos.
A new hearing is scheduled Tuesday in Washington, according to the education department.
In an administrative hearing, witnesses are asked to testify. They are not compelled by a subpoena, like witnesses in a civil or criminal trial.
The scope of the new hearing also is different.
Instead of a wide-ranging hearing on the fraud allegations, Tuesday's hearing will address only the temporary suspension of HCI's eligibility to participate in federal student loan programs, said Rod Dixon, attorney adviser for Canellos.
Other issues, such as permanent termination of HCI's student loan eligibility and a $3.64 million fine the Department of Education wishes to impose, will be heard at another time, Dixon said.
Stephanie Babyak, spokeswoman for the education department, said Canellos has granted HCI's request for a show-cause hearing.
The government will be asked to support its claim that HCI should be booted immediately from the federal student aid program.
Peter Leyton, attorney for HCI, did not immediately return a phone call for comment.
HCI students receive federal money to pay for their tuition and study.
Franklinville, New Jersey