Open Letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on Some King-Duncan Legacy Problems and on FOIA Request

Below is a follow-up open letter to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on some problems that the current administration inherited from the previous one. As has been stated before, the problems are rather serious in nature: usage of extortion, involuntary servitude, document fabrication, bullying and abuse of power by the Department of Education employees. Further, as Secretaries of Education, both Mr. Duncan and Mr. King chose to leave the office without resolving the Department of Education’s debt to me, which at this point has increased to $312,989.75.

Once again, the problems addressed here can be resolved, but not by continuing to use the same approaches that lead nowhere.

  • The letter published below was delivered to:
  • The office of the Honorable Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education, U.S. Department of Education, USPS Delivery Confirmation EL592799234US

The Honorable Betsy DeVos

Secretary of Education

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue S.W.

Washington, DC 20202

Dear Secretary DeVos:

Please note that this is an open letter that I will publish on the Internet, on StopExtortion.org.

I contacted you with a letter dated 05/01/2017 regarding some King-Duncan legacy problems that you inherited, such as usage of extortion, involuntary servitude, document fabrication, bullying and abuse of power by the Department of Education employees. I also sent you a copy of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that I had submitted to the Department of Education FOIA Unit on 04/24/2017.

In response to this FOIA request I received a letter dated 05/04/2017 stating to “Please provide a signed copy of the attached Certification of Identity and Consent form.” However, no form was enclosed with the letter. So, I obtained the Certification of Identity and Consent form myself. I sent both a signed copy of the Certification of Identity and Consent form and an updated FOIA request to the Department of Education. Enclosed is a copy of that updated FOIA request.

I do hope that your office will follow up on this updated FOIA request. If the Department of Education will actually respond to the request as specified, then that can help to move this case toward finding a conclusion to it.

First, we want to specify what documents and information listed in the FOIA request exist.

Thereafter, we can specify what other documents do or do not qualify in this case as legitimate support material. In the process I expect the Department of Education to make valid arguments that are based on specific existing accessible laws and regulations.

We have to keep in mind that I graduated from college in 1996 and the Department of Education created its records in 2008 without existence of any lending and borrowing documents. Further, no records or documents exist that would demonstrate that I actually received the allegedly borrowed money either directly, or indirectly, as tuition support. Further, the allegedly borrowed amount’s principal is over 20 times higher than was the cost of tuition of the state owned college that I attended from 1990 to 1996. I did not live on campus. No credible explanation has been provided on where the allegedly borrowed money went to or how it was allegedly used.

So, in order to resolve this dispute, we have to go by using accessible laws and regulations. For example, an argument that third party internal records are substitutes for actual consumer lending and borrowing documents is not supported by existing accessible laws and regulations, especially when the third party internal records do not demonstrate that any lending and borrowing transactions actually took place, and the internal records were created after a student graduated from college.

Similarly, an argument that a partial copy of a financial aid application is a legitimate legally binding debt instrument is not supported by existing accessible laws and regulations. The partial copies of financial aid applications that are relevant to this case do not demonstrate that any lending and borrowing transactions actually occurred. Further, these partial copies of financial aid applications do not contain the exact principal amount that has to be paid if debt actually exists, any specific interest rate, any due dates, and information on when and at what frequencies any money has to be paid. Legitimate legally binding debt instruments would contains such information. Further, these partial copies of financial aid applications are not unconditional promises to pay, as a legitimate legally binding debt instrument is. To put it differently, the partial copies of financial aid applications that are relevant to this case are clearly different from legally binding debt instruments and we have to acknowledge this.

If the Department of Education wants to make arguments to the contrary, then the Department of Education has to specify what the arguments are based on. I hope that the over 5 years long dispute has provided sufficient proof that stating that “it is so because we say so” will not provide support for finding a conclusion to this case.

Thomas Eklund

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