Education Dept. Fires Law Firm Overseeing Zenith Group

March 15, 2016

The U.S. Department of Education plans to replace the law firm that has been overseeing Zenith Education Group’s operation of the campuses it purchased from the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges.

The decision came after an Associated Press investigation found that the law firm -- which the department had touted as an “independent monitor” -- had been working directly for Zenith. The arrangement protected the firm’s work under an attorney-client privilege and also required the firm to act in Zenith’s interest, the AP reported.

The firm’s education practice is headed by Charlie Rose, who was the Education Department’s general counsel during the Obama administration’s first term.

“We appreciate the work of Hogan Marren Babbo & Rose Ltd. during the transitional period for Zenith, but as we enter this next phase of Zenith’s development, we believe it is time for a new monitor with a different background and set of capabilities,” Dorie Nolt, the department’s press secretary, said in an email on Monday.

Hogan Marren was hired as part of the deal brokered by the Obama administration in 2014 to sell off more than 50 campuses owned by the then-faltering Corinthian Colleges to Zenith Education Group.

The department will now look for a new monitor for Zenith that has “a more investigative and prosecutorial background,” a department official said.

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