Archive for August 10th, 2011

Fed Case Against EDMC Reveals $6 to $25 Million to McKernan, Wife Sen. Olympia Snowe- in 2009 ALONE

Posted on August 10, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

(More from Bloomberg today on the EDMC story: Stripper Finds Degree Profitable for Goldman Wasn’t Worth It)

Which was devalued in 2010, down to $1 to 5 million. Bet that helped the tax forms!

More details have been released, including staggering numbers of profits for the McKernan-Snowe household from EDMC transactions.

From Lewiston Sun Journal:


On Monday prosecutors outlined their case in a 122-page complaint alleging that the management corporation and its affiliates paid recruiters commissions as an incentive to enroll more students. That practice violates provisions for colleges that receive government-backed loans and grants.The plaintiffs argue that the chain fostered a “boiler-room” sales culture that encouraged recruiters to enroll students who may have been unqualified to attend one of the company’s more than 100 affiliate schools. Prosecutors assert that the company’s practices led to higher student loan default rates.

McKernan isn’t named as a defendant in the suit. However, he is mentioned in the complaint and the recruiter-compensation allegations stem from his tenure as EDMC’s former chief executive officer.

McKernan, who is married to U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, was the CEO between 2003 and 2007.

He currently is EDMC’s board chairman.

The lawsuit has generated national media attention, stemming in part from an ongoing debate about the practices and efficacy of for-profit colleges. And, McKernan’s involvement has mobilized Snowe’s political opponents.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Snowe’s reported 2009 assets from EDMC were valued between $6 million and $25 million and divided among her and McKernan’s stock options and common stock holdings.

According to Snowe’s recent asset disclosure, the stock holdings were significantly reduced in 2010, valued between $1 million and $5 million.

For their part, the couple are “frustrated” and deny all allegations of illegal activity:


McKernan’s wife, U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, was asked about the lawsuit during a walking tour of Saco. Snowe said her husband was frustrated by the lawsuit considering the lengths it went to comply with the law.In his statement, McKernan described the safeguards that were put in place to ensure compliance.

“EDMC has been providing quality education to its students for more than 40 years and has long had a robust compliance program including procedures for employees to report violations of company policy. The company worked rigorously to ensure that the plan was properly implemented companywide, wrote and distributed detailed training manuals, and conducted training sessions on how to implement the compensation plan,” McKernan said. “It maintained an anonymous telephone hot line for employees to report policy violations, and required multiple layers of internal approval and sign-off for each employee compensation review. All of these efforts are consistent with the company’s commitment to full compliance with the law.”

*Related: Justice Department says private college company headed by Snowe’s husband violated rules

*Related: UPDATED: Fed to join lawsuit against EDMC – Sen. Snowe’s husband McKernan Chair of Board

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Wednesday Morning Reads: Open Thread

Posted on August 10, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

A few political stories of note this morning:

State investigators conclude there was no wrongdoing by Maine Green Energy Alliance.


A state investigation into the financial practices of the now-defunct Maine Green Energy Alliance has revealed examples of poor accounting and oversight, but no instances of missing money or inappropriate spending, according to people familiar with the probe.The findings come three months after a legislative committee asked for an examination of how the alliance spent roughly $500,000 of a $1.1 million federal grant meant to expand home energy audits and weatherization through community organizing and education.

Rep. Jon Hinck (D-Portland), who is the lead Democrat on the state’s Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee, issued the following statement:


“I applaud OPEGA for its evidenced based-investigation and believe there are important lessons in this report for managing future state contracts,” said Hinck, who had previewed some of the reports findings. “The report shows that Efficiency Maine moved appropriately to cancel the contract once it became aware of the performance issues. The report provides no substantiation for the unfounded accusations leveled by Republican Party Chair Charlie Webster and certain Republican lawmakers. At this point I would expect an apology for making those wild and unfounded claims.”

Governor Paul LePage calls for “cuts until it hurts” during a visit to the Maine Air National Guard’s 101st Air Refueling Wing in Bangor.


The state already faces a shortfall of $25 million identified in the $6.1 billion budget that passed in June, but the governor said it is clear to him that $25 million will not be enough.”We’ll see as we go along,” he said. “If you get to $25 [million] and there is still room and you get $50 [million] and there is still room and, if at $75 [million] it hurts, you stop.

“But if $100 [million] still seems easy, you go to $125 [million]. You go until it hurts.

“It’s just like a business,” LePage continued. “You get all the necessities done and you make sure the services are provided and you stop then.”

Despite the pending weapons charges against him, Rep. Fred Wintle (R-Garland) wants to return to the legislature. While Wintle’s attorney says his client is “better”, it will remain to be seen what comes from his September 13 court date, when the case next goes before the grand jury. There has been no released reaction yet from Speaker Nutting, who in May after Wintle’s arrest made a public statement and asked that the lawmaker be barred from the Statehouse as part of his bail conditions.

BDN is reporting that the new “Redneck Olympics” in Hebron are facing a lawsuit over its name. Organizer Harold Brooks, who got a phone call from the USOC legal offices on Monday,  states that he based the name upon “the Olympics in Greece” and therefore is exempt. But that explanation may not get him very far in court:


Under the U.S. Amateur Sports Act of 1978, the committee has exclusive rights to the name in the U.S.According to the Special Olympics website, the USOC gave special permission for the Special Olympics to use the word in 1971.

(Sidenote: Here is a link to a large list of festivals, fairs and events to check out this month in Maine. Personally, the Great Falls Balloon Festival in Lewiston has long been a family favorite.)

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