Until now, I have avoided writing about the accusations against Bernie Sanders’ wife, Jane – who ran, and then ran into the ground, Burlington College in Vermont.
But this is a scandal that continues to grow, and may well put Ms. Sanders in prison. So I will give you the latest news, via April McCullum’s article at Burlington Free Press:
DISCREPANCIES EMERGE IN BURLINGTON COLLEGE DONOR LIST
Some of the donors have publicly questioned the amounts listed in their names.
Burlington College, founded as a “college without walls” in 1972, ultimately failed in 2016 after struggling to pay off debt from an ambitious campus purchase. Jane O’Meara Sanders served as the school’s president for about seven years.
The lingering questions about Burlington College’s finances are based, in large part, on a cryptic three-page spreadsheet.
The spreadsheet — a list of confirmed and potential donors to the college’s 2010 capital campaign using each donor’s initials — helped Burlington College and then-president Jane O’Meara Sanders to finance the purchase of a new $10 million lakefront campus.
At least four of the donors included on the spreadsheet, however, have challenged the listed amount of their donations. The document now appears to be wrapped up in an ongoing FBI investigation about whether the donations were exaggerated to mislead the bank.
Sanders left the college under a separation agreement in October 2011. Burlington College was ultimately unable to fulfill its fundraising or enrollment goals, and debt from the 2010 property purchase led to the college’s closure in May 2016.
This leads to some pretty obvious questions about Ms. Sanders’ personal ethics, whether she misrepresented the financial status of Burlington College, whether she solicited contributions under false pretenses…and whether she is responsible for the school’s abrupt closing, which left hundreds of its students in the lurch.
From Laura Krantz’s article for the Boston Globe – October 2016:
When one of the country’s largest for-profit college chains closed last month, it caught more than 500 students in Massachusetts off guard and left many of them with piles of debt, no degree, and few options for how to proceed.
Among them was William McNeil, a 57-year-old laid-off Sears worker just a few courses shy of an associate’s degree in applied computer science from ITT Technical Institute. His classmate, Dwayne Davis, 38, had just one semester left to earn a degree that would help him become an electronic technician.
Both men made hard choices — and sacrifices — to attend the school. Davis quit his steady job at the US Postal Service, and McNeil worked two jobs, delivering newspapers overnight and auto parts during the day, so that he could attend class in the evening.
Now both students, and thousands like them, must figure out how to proceed.
If Jane Sanders is found to have acted in an illegal manner, and caused this horror show, it is hard to see how she escapes a prison term.
And if she is capable of doing such things, it is hard not to at least wonder whether Ms. Sanders’ has something to do with the three homes she and her husband have, on his Senate salary, including a recently purchased $575,000 vacation home.
I will post more on this as it becomes available.
Meanwhile, what you just read is worth remembering the next time one of your friends or colleagues assures you that Republicans have a monopoly on either unethical behavior or hypocrisy.