School’s scandal shadows WeldPontius Pilate must have been a Republican, the way these guys find ways to wash their hands of any messes they leave behind.
Critics say alleged fraud at college during his tenure as its CEO could end his NY run to become governor
BY ERROL A. COCKFIELD JR
ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF; Albany researcher Melissa Mansfield contributed to this report.
December 27, 2005
ALBANY - Since he became engrossed in a scandal at the Kentucky trade school he ran for much of this year, William Weld, the former Massachusetts governor, has been crafting a defense that other chief executives have used before.
Weld, a Republican who is now running for governor in New York, said he did not know anything about what federal investigators believe was widespread student loan fraud at Louisville's Decker College.
"I'm not aware of any improper activity," Weld said in a recent interview. He denied any responsibility for the school's woes, and said, "There was nothing I would have done differently."
By the time Weld resigned as CEO in September, after eight months at the helm, Decker faced fraud investigations by the FBI, the U.S. Education Department and the Kentucky attorney general's office. A month later, it went bankrupt and left an estimated 3,700 students in limbo.
A smarter maneuver probably would have been to say that, as CEO, he discovered this fraud upon his arrival and became frustrated at his inability to get to the root of the bureaucracy and left shortly after the criminal investigation began in order to clear his name of the whole mess.
That would have been less honest of course, rather than admitting that he had no oversight over such a crucial component of the campus he was in charge of, but it would have saved face for him.