FRANKFORT, Ky. (Legal Newsline) - Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announced on Wednesday that the Franklin Circuit Court affirmed a previous order requiring a for-profit school to pay civil penalties for allegedly failing to comply with a subpoena.
In December 2010, Conway's office issued a civil subpoena to National College seeking information about potential violations of Kentucky's Consumer Protection Act. National allegedly refused to respond to the subpoena and filed a lawsuit to block Conway's inquiry.
"National's actions to date have to make you wonder what they're trying to hide from investigators, their students, and prospective students," Conway said.
In March 2011, the Franklin Circuit Court ruled in Conway's favor, finding that the subpoena was reasonable and supported by valid concerns. National appealed the decision, but the appeals were denied. The litigation was remanded to Franklin Circuit Court and after numerous motions and lengthy hearings, the court determined National could present no legitimate basis or argument for its challenges to the subpoena.
National complied with the subpoena on February 11.
The court fined National $1,000 per day from August 5 to December 23 and $500 per day from January 31 to February 11. The total fine imposed by the court is $147,000, in addition to a $10,000 fine against National's attorneys for allegedly delaying Conway's inquiry.
"I appreciate the court's careful consideration on this matter," Conway said. "The actions of National College and its attorneys in failing to cooperate with my office on this important issue have been simply beyond the pale. Rest assured that my fight to protect consumers against the deceptive business practices of some for-profit schools will not stop."
In September 2011, Conway's office filed a separate action against National alleging the school violated the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act by posting false job placement rates online for its graduates. The litigation remains pending.