(WFXR) — A Department of Education (DOE) investigation is underway at Liberty University, looking into claims of Title IX misconduct following multiple lawsuits about sexual assault cases being mishandled.
John Fishwick Jr. — owner of Fishwick & Associates in Roanoke and a former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia — says these investigations are fairly common and very private.
“The only public thing would be at the end if the Department of Education’s civil rights division makes findings that are public,” he said.
Liz Paris, the Title IX program director at Van Dermyden Makus Law Corporation, says investigators will interview students and staff, as well as review documents.
Both legal experts tell WFXR News that these cases are typically resolved with an agreement.
“Maybe the institution will agree to be more transparent in the process they follow or the complaints they receive,” Paris explained.
According to Fishwick, those agreements with the DOE are not what a university wants.
“It’s a little bit of a nanny state, it’s the federal government telling you how to run your Title IX practices,” he said.
However, the Roanoke attorney adds that those agreements are less public than a civil suit.
“If I was any college and there was a number of lawsuits against me and individuals working at the college, I would be more concerned about that because those are going to be public,” he said.