"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, March 23, 2007

Eugene Hickok Forced to Pay $50,000 Settlement

While Eugene Hickok was Deputy Secretary of Education under Paige, tens of millions were shoveled out the door to outfits that he had helped paste together in the months before becoming Deputy Secretary. The Education Leaders Council, which vanished with millions in discretionary grants, and the phony teacher prep outfit, ABCTE, are two prime examples. These, however, are only two of the get rich quick schemes set up to drain the Treasury while funding education privatization efforts. You know, use the government to destroy the government.

Now after Hickok has moved on to become a kingpin in Dutko Worldwide, where he can share his expertise on making the private sector rich with public dollars, we find out that Hickok has been operating under a cloud that now shows that, despite official advice prior to his confirmation as Deputy Secretary, he held on to Bank of America stocks that constituted his largest personal asset during his tenure in Washington. Never mind he was making federal lending decisions that involved Bank of America and Wachovia

If there is anything good to come of this, Hickok has sworn off working in government ever again. And, of course, he blames big government for the "error."

From the Patriot-News:

Former state Education Secretary and former top-ranking U.S. Department of Education official Eugene Hickok has agreed to pay $50,000 to settle a conflict-of-interest matter investigated by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

The settlement stems from Hickok's failure to sell 836 shares of stock he owned in Bank of America during his tenure as undersecretary and deputy secretary of the federal education department from 2001 to 2005, even though that bank participates in the federal student loan program.

The settlement, signed on March 15, releases Hickok from any criminal charge or further liability for failing to divest bank stock. Channing Philips, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office, said criminal charges were considered but "at the end of the day, we decided the civil resolution was the way to go."

Hickok is a former Dickinson College political science professor who served as the state education secretary under Gov. Tom Ridge from 1995 to 2001. He lives in Richmond, Va., and is a senior policy director with Dutko Worldwide.

He could not be reached yesterday for a comment.

The settlement agreement states that a week after Hickok's 2001 confirmation as undersecretary, he was informed by an ethics official that the stock he and his wife Kathy owned in Bank of America, Citigroup, Key Corp. and Wachovia "poses a problem" in connection with his duties.

He was given a waiver to participate in general policy discussions initially, but in January 2004, while awaiting confirmation to deputy secretary -- the second-highest-ranking position in the department -- Hickok was advised to sell the bank stock holdings.

In June of that year, Hickok's wife sold her shares, the agreement states. He held on to his shares of Bank of America stock, which he listed on documents as his largest personal assets. His wife in the fall of 2004 repurchased stock in banks that participate in the student-loan program.

On Jan. 15, 2005, he signed a statement affirming they sold their bank stock. He resigned from the federal department the next month.

We can only wonder how U. S. Attorney Phillips came to decide that criminal charges were inappropriate--or how 50 grand would ever pay for the damage done. Well, he probably has bigger fish to fry, like those black and brown people who are trying to vote without the proper IDs. You remember, that voter fraud business that Gonzales likes to have his remaining attorneys pursuing.

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