The federal government is investigating whether a former top Department of Education official violated ethics laws by allegedly sharing information about new federal regulations with an advocacy group he founded, the Wall Street Journal reports:
Newly released court documents show that federal prosecutors believe the Education Department’s former deputy undersecretary, Robert Shireman, might have violated executive-branch ethics laws by allegedly discussing sensitive government information with the group, the Institute for College Access & Success, or TICAS. [...]
The investigation is being led by the Education Department’s inspector general, along with civil lawyers at the Justice Department, according to the documents. Investigators are currently treating the matter as a potential civil infraction but have warned Mr. Shireman that criminal penalties are possible for the alleged behavior. [...]
Mr. Shireman and other senior department officials shared information with TICAS and other groups that were pushing the Education Department to clamp down on for-profit colleges, according to departmental emails released in recent years. The for-profit firms rely on government-backed student loans for a big chunk of their revenue.