President Wills says things are moving very slowly
At the November Governing Board monthly meeting representative Deb McCasland asked for an update on the status of the multi-million dollar lawsuit pending in federal court that was brought by Dan Hamilton. Wills replied that it was going “very slowly.” There was nothing to report.
Recall that the last time the District Governing Board considered this issue was almost a year ago when it went into executive session February 14, 2017 to discuss the lawsuit. Following the closed session, there was no comment on what, if anything, was discussed. The dispute is now headed for trial on the whistleblower’s claims.
Federal District Court Judge Murray Snow ruled in December, 2016 that a second whistle-blower case against the Yavapai College flight program will proceed. The case alleges that Yavapai College’s airplane pilot program took millions of dollars from the VA by submitting false claims for veteran education benefits while knowingly violating the VA’s enrollment limitations.
The Complaint filed by the former director of aviation programs at Yavapai College alleges that Yavapai College and its airplane program partner, NorthAire Aviation, violated the Veteran’s Administration funding rule that limits VA beneficiary enrollment to 85% in any program. (In other words, the program must have at least 15% of its enrollees as civilians.)
The Complaint alleges schemes wherein NorthAire improperly paid for students whom the program certified were not receiving any institutional aid and that the program improperly counted students who were not in the airplane program including part-time, non-flight training, high school students for whom YC waived tuition. The 85% enrollment limitation is the VA’s safeguard to guarantee that the programs have real world relevance, demand and market driven pricing.
In an earlier ruling on December 6, 2016, Judge Murray Snow denied a motion to dismiss filed by Yavapai College’s partner NorthAire. NorthAire argued that as a mere contractor with the College who did not, itself, submit the claims or certifications to the VA, it could not be held liable for the program’s fraud.
A video of the Governing Board 45 second discussion on this issue follows below: