A federal court has ordered the Trump administration’s Wicked Witch of the West Wing, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, to pay $100,000 for violating a court order demanding that the department she oversees stop collecting loan payments from students who were bamboozled by a now-defunct educational institution.
Northern District of California Judge Sallie Kim held DeVos in civil contempt after she continued to collect on student loan debt for Corinthian College, a for-profit educational that folded in 2015. In 2018, Kim issued an injunction ordering the pickled practitioner of white privilege to stop collecting on the loans after a court determined that servicers had given out incorrect information, harmed students’ credit who were paying on time and collected money from students who were not supposed to pay. In 2016, a federal investigation found widespread fraud at Corinthian College, according to the Washington Post.
Kim followed through with her warning earlier this month to hold someone in contempt or impose sanctions. Today, Kim chose both.
“At best it is gross negligence, at worst it’s an intentional flouting of my order,” Kim said earlier this month. Kim then threatened DeVos with possible jail: “I’m not sure if this is contempt or sanctions. I’m not sending anyone to jail yet, but it’s good to know I have that ability.”
Kim is referring to her June 2018 ruling in which she ordered the Education Department to stop collecting debt from 16,000 former Corinthian students. The $100,000 fine will be paid by the federal government, not DeVos personally, to the attorneys who represent borrowers in the class action lawsuit who are seeking student loan debt forgiveness, among other claims.
Before DeVos took the job that she was not qualified for, the Obama administration had already passed the Borrower Defense to Repayment rule, which offers student loan debt forgiveness for students who were defrauded by their educational institution. The suit alleged that the Department of Education illegally and intentionally delayed the rule’s implementation.
DeVos, the daughter of a billionaire who somehow married a billionaire, is the nation’s highest education official. She does not hold a degree in education, has never formally studied the subject, has never attended a public school or college and has never worked at an educational institution.
She did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.