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Ex-U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to monitor Corinthian Colleges shutdown

The U.S. Education Department said new monitor Patrick Fitzgerald will ensure students and taxpayers are protected as Corinthian Colleges shut down.
By Frances Burns   |   July 18, 2014 at 4:06 PM

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WASHINGTON, July 18 (UPI) -- Patrick Fitzgerald, who as a U.S. prosecutor investigated the leak of Valerie Plame's CIA cover, was named Friday to monitor the closing of Corinthian Colleges.

The U.S. Education Department said Fitzgerald -- now a partner in the Chicago office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom -- will make sure both Corinthian students and taxpayers are protected, as the for-profit firm sells and closes campuses. Ted Mitchell, an undersecretary in the department, said Fitzgerald will have access to all Corinthian records.

Corinthian Colleges Inc., one of the largest for-profit college companies, was founded in 1995 and grew quickly by acquiring established schools and opening new campuses. The company warned stockholders in June it could shut down after the federal government put a three-week hold on financial aid payments for Corinthian students because of allegations records were being faked.

The government and Corinthian later negotiated an agreement to allow the company to wind down, rather than closing suddenly. Corinthian has said it plans to sell 85 campuses and close the remaining 12.

Fitzgerald served in the U.S. Justice Department from 1988 to 2012, starting in New York where he prosecuted the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He was named U.S. Attorney for northern Illinois in 2001 and prosecuted two governors, George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich, as well as investigating the leak of information on CIA Agent Valerie Plame during President George W. Bush's administration.

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