Kentucky will seek a multi-million dollar judgment against an Owensboro-based career college that it alleges violated Kentucky's consumer protection laws, the attorney general said Wednesday.
Jack Conway, speaking at a Capitol press conference, laid out a variety of claims against Daymar College, including that the for-profit school had deceived and misled students into buying textbooks on campus at prices substantially higher than other vendors.
In the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Daviess County circuit court, Conway also charged that some programs offered at Daymar don't meet the standards of its accrediting organization, and that some students were accepted despite not meeting the college's admission standards.
Conway said that made it more likely they would withdraw from classes and default on federal loans. He said the default rate among former Daymar students is among the highest in the state.
"As attorney general, it is my job to ensure that businesses operating in Kentucky are following our consumer protection laws," he said in a statement. "It is also my duty to ensure that consumers are not being taken advantage of as a result of unfair or false business practices."
Daymar spokesman Tom Nunez said he couldn't yet address the specific claims made in the lawsuit.
"Obviously, we will be vigorously defending the allegations in court and denying the allegations by the attorney general," Nunez said. "We have not had an opportunity to fully review the complaint filed, so we cannot comment at this time. However, once we have done so, we will be issuing statements and comments on an ongoing basis."
The attorney general's office is asking for financial damages and restitution on behalf of some 5,000 students.
Conway has been trying to focus attention on for-profit colleges that he contends have saddled Kentucky students with debt that they can't pay, leaving them in default on federal loans.
Daymar has more than a dozen campuses in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, and offers bachelor's degrees business administration, business management, justice administration and health care administration.