US Department of Education Out of Control:
Unconstitutional, Being Sued and Now This?
I thought I was done covering the US Department of Education in the news. After all, within the last 10 days or so it was possible to write posts titled “The U.S. Department of Education is Breaking the Law; Pass It On,” “What is the US Department of Education Doing Illegally Today?” and “U.S. Department of Education Sued: Alleged Conspiring with Wall Street Hedge Fund Manager.”
And Now This, US Department of Education?
What I saw through blurry early morning eyes today defied my thinking that this federal department couldn’t possibly be doing anything worse. I was wrong…very very wrong.
It was a video of a story exclusive to News10 out of Stockton, California titled “[Federal]Education Officials Break Down Stockton Man’s Door.” [NOTE: This is not the original site where the first coverage appeared, but it is the original first coverage. Additional coverage link below.] Why did a federal SWAT team break down the door on a home with a man and his three children?
The U.S. Department of Education Office of the Inspector General issued the search and called in S.W.A.T for his estranged wife’s defaulted student loans.
“They busted down my door for this,” Wright said. “It wasn’t even me.”
According to the Department of Education’s Office of the Inspector General, the case can’t be discussed publicly until it is closed, but a representative confirmed the department did issue the search warrant at Wright’s home.
Wednesday morning, inspector general spokeswoman Gina Burress provided the following statement:
“The Office of Inspector General does not engage in the collection of student loans. Our mission is to conduct criminal investigations related to the programs and operations of the U.S. Department of Education, which include the student financial aid programs. We can confirm that we executed a search warrant at the residence, however our policy is not to discuss details of our on-going work.”
The Office of the Inspector General has a law enforcement branch of federal agents that carry out search warrants and investigations.
The news coverage notes, and rightly so, that the city was unable to help the man whose home sustained damage because this was strictly a federal operation. Unfortunately, the coverage is otherwise short on details. The husband in question, Kenneth Wright, never said if he knew his estranged wife was merely behind on payments or suspected of something worse in relation to her loan. Had the US Department of Education tried garnishing wages or maintaining tax refunds? What was the US Department of Education searching for? Would the dead-beat student have been imprisoned had she been there? Is she suspected of a criminal, or civil, offense? Do we now have debt slavery? How much did this raid cost taxpayers? Whatever this woman is suspected of having done, is this a proper function of the US Department of Education? If so, where does your child’s education fall in the department’s list of priorities?
Are you behind on paying your student loan?
For many reasons it was a bad idea for the federal government to take over financial aid programs. Still, I would never have imagined this. Had the federal government not taken over control of student loans, would a bank have engaged in this type of behavior?
If you’d like to help get some answers, consider asking for them from the following:
Senator Tom Harkin (Iowa) is chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and can be contacted at the link.
Representative John Kline (Minnesota) is chairman of the House of Representatives Education and the Workforce Committee and can be contacted at the link.
There are more questions than answers here, but one thing’s for sure: the US Department of Education, unconstitutional from day one, has strayed far from its original “assignment” and gets a…F…ail.
UPDATE: The original report is gone and has been replaced with “Questions Surround Feds Raid of Stockton Home.”
Addition in the new report:
U.S. Department of Education spokesman Justin Hamilton confirmed for News10 Wednesday morning federal agents with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), not local S.W.A.T., served the search warrant. Hamilton would not say specifically why the raid took place except that it was part of an ongoing criminal investigation.
Hamilton said the search was not related to student loans in default as reported in the local media.
OIG is a semi-independent branch of the education department that executes warrants for criminal offenses such as student aid fraud, embezzlement of federal aid and bribery, according to Hamilton.
Poor spokesman Hamilton is really getting a work out doing damage control. He’s alluded to criminal offense (one of my questions above). I still recommend contacting our representatives, just so they know some of us are watching. In fact, I’m thinking about asking them if when their SWAT team has a break from US Department of Education business, would they send the team to the too-big-to-fail banks…it would probably be more financially rewarding, don’t you think?