Watch out for the big Department of Education trap at the beginning of these cases. It is very important!
Hi this is Steve Rossi, your education and school law guru. Today’s topic is concerning the big “trap” that exists when an individual receives a certified letter from the Department of Education and becomes under investigation. Without further ado, let’s dive right into the topic. Let’s say that you receive a certified letter from the Department of Education. The letter will basically indicate that you have anywhere from 10 days to two weeks to respond back with a list of witnesses or evidence so that the Department of Education can obtain information. You’re in a state of panic and possibly thinking to yourself: What witnesses? What evidence? What could this case be about? Unfortunately many DOD letters that place you on notice of investigation fall short into giving you the specifics on what exactly the investigation is about. In other words, say for example a student accuses you of touching them inappropriately and the school district investigated and exonerated you. To your knowledge, the only things that may have happened to you that may be the reason for this case is something that happened over a year or two. Unfortunately, when you go to write down your list of witnesses regarding the case of the student who accused you of touching them inappropriately, that is not what the DOE was contacting you about. What the DOE was contacting you about was a completely different case involving nothing concerning this. Congratulations, you have now given the DOE another issue which the DOE might pick up and start investigating. In a recent case, the department of education was notified that someone failed to report an incident of possible abuse involving one or more of the students. The educator was under the belief that this was what the issue was concerning the department of education; however the department of education was not concerned about that situation but rather was concerned with a different issue which involved failing to notify a governmental entity. So the educator was responding to something the DOE was not investigating, but they did not know this because the DOE letter was not specific enough. The moral of the story is that when you receive a letter from the DOE indicating that you are under investigation and you have between 10 days to two weeks to respond back with a list of witnesses or evidence, try to obtain counsel right away so that the counsel can contact the DOE on your behalf and see specifically what this information is concerning. Do not assume anything. Assuming something can potentially damage you severely by possibly entering into another DOE investigation against you because you gave information that had nothing to do with your case and puts you under a negative light.
Feel free to contact the Law Offices of Steve Rossi P.A. and ask for Steve Rossi for a free consultation if you received a letter from the DOE indicating you’re under investigation.