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Woman who works at for-profit college accused of ripping off students to be re-appointed to Human Rights Commission



This news story was published on December 31, 2014.
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Valencia

Valencia

MASON CITY – A Mason City woman who works at a for-profit college that has been accused of misleading and even ripping off students is up for re-appointment to the virtually-defunct Human Rights Commission.

Julie Valencia has been nominated by Mayor Eric Bookmeyer to serve a second term on the city’s Human Rights Commission.  The commission used to work in conjunction with the now-scuttled Human Rights Department to intake cases from Mason City citizens who claimed their human rights were violated.  The commission would then work with the department to investigate the claims and bring resolution.  The commission now does none of that.  Many now say the commission is working with Bookmeyer and his political allies to slowly put what is left of the Human Rights agency (only the commission is left) either completely out of order or to put it under the control of businesses with ties to the Chamber of Commerce and big landlords – the very people whom most of the previous complaints were brought against.

“The common person doesn’t have a chance now,” said one Mason City citizen.  “The fox is guarding the hen house.  What a disgrace this has become.”

As for Julie Valencia, she works at a for-profit college, called Kaplan University, an outfit befuddled with complaints by current and former students all across the country.  The for-profit college industry has been challenged by lawmakers at the state and local level for preying on Americans, even military folks.  The last complaint filed on the Better Business Bureau’s website claims to be by a student, who pleads with others that “Kaplan needs to be stopped! There are countless complaints throughout the internet that describe how this university is a complete fraud”.

In Kaplan’s case, the Better Business Bureau warns consumers that “There is an alert for this business!” in bright red letters on its web site.

The warning says that the Florida Attorney General office entered into a settlement with Kaplan following the office’s investigation into the school’s enrollment and marketing practices and allegations that students were misled by marketing claims. During the course of the investigation, Kaplan voluntarily waived tuition and fees for more than 2,400 Florida students at a cost of more than $6,000,000. Kaplan has also agreed to offer retraining to eligible students and establish an expedited arbitration process for students who have asserted claims against the school.

Valencia was not one of the Human Rights commissioners that were sued by former director Lionel Foster.  Rather than face a potentially extremely embarrassing court hearing where untold dirty laundry would most definitely be aired publicly, the city’s insurance company worked hard for a massive settlement of $240,000.   Two of the now-disgraced commissioners – Steve Palmer and Mark Stanton – are still on board and have made no gesture to resign.

However, Valencia was one of the main organizers of a Human Rights “symposium” held in October.  Elected officials were in attendance, and paid state employees were the two main speakers; they drove to Mason City from Des Moines on the taxpayer’s dime.  Valencia worked in conjunction with Robin Anderson at the Mason City Chamber of Commerce to hold the event on the third floor of the Chamber’s office building over the noon hour, a difficult place and time for many working citizens to attend.  They also initially demanded $10 for citizens to gain access to the symposium.  Valencia later claimed it was all a big misunderstanding and that anyone could get in for free, despite the city’s website displaying the $10 fee all the way through the date the event was held.

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51 Responses to Woman who works at for-profit college accused of ripping off students to be re-appointed to Human Rights Commission

  1. anon Reply Report comment

    January 9, 2015 at 12:31 am

    Why Thank you Reg!
    Always like that you get it said again for everyone!

    Ram that TRUTH home! Now that’s well done!

  2. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Say what you want about Matt. I haven’t always agreed with him. And I’ve had some of my comments deleted. But, I will say this. Matt does not and will not sugar coat anything. Thank goodness we have someone that’s not afraid to write the truth about how corrupt our city and county officials are. If you don’t like what he has to say….pretty simple, don’t read it. Go read the Glob that is full of cover ups and untruths.

  3. anon Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Oh bullshit you have nothing credible on Matt. And what real adult talks that way anyway so you are the idiot concerned!
    Matt has exposed so many truths about this tainted local government it’s unreal.
    It doesnt take a scientist of any kind to see the rash of shinola Bookmeyer and team shit out. Please.

    Is she hispanic? I’m quite sure that’s the 1st red herring..he is ultra white and this doesn’t fit. Maybe she’s the one he is bedding, ha and now pocketing that money from the students.

    • Reggie Reply Report comment

      January 8, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      “Oh bullshit you have nothing credible on Matt. And what real adult talks that way anyway so you are the idiot concerned!” Anon you never fail to just amaze me.Well done,

  4. Concerned... Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2015 at 11:29 am

    So it is okay for you and other people to comment & bash on & ridicule this woman in your article & her place of employment but for someone to say that it is in poor taste their comment gets removed? Matt Marquardt you are an idiot!! Everything you write, report on, or say is asinine! I wish I could have my own page to bash on people and cry on because it’s the only way to be heard…oh wait I am an adult with a real job, morals, and character, when you grow up you should get…

    • NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      January 8, 2015 at 6:39 pm

      Take a class at Kaplan on building websites, Einstein, and bash away to your hear’s content. Wait… when get done there, you will not have learned anything, so you better try NIACC.

  5. Reggie Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Someone, some where had on their header a quote from a famous sage that said”I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it” I wonder who that was?

    • LVS Reply Report comment

      January 8, 2015 at 8:27 am

      @Reggie-Just what do you think you are trying to prove with this childish crap? Stay on the article subject. Your goal seems to be to attack the editor of N.I.T. You have a option if you don’t like the content. Just don’t read it.

      • Reggie Reply Report comment

        January 8, 2015 at 1:40 pm

        Childish crap? Matt removed two dissenting opinions and all I was doing was showing how hypocritical that was after quoting Voltaire.

        • LVS Reply Report comment

          January 8, 2015 at 2:35 pm

          @Reggie-How do you know it was Matt? Anyone who finds it offensive can report it and the system deletes it. You are usually much more professional in your post. You surprised me me as I expected better from you.

          • Reggie

            January 8, 2015 at 2:40 pm

            Yes and then Matt supposedly reviews them and can put them back up. I don’t see them back up do you LVS?

          • LVS

            January 8, 2015 at 2:43 pm

            @Reggie-only if he wants to, and why would he want to?

          • LVS

            January 8, 2015 at 2:47 pm

            @Reggie-Your beef seems to be with Matt, but I can tell you I know lots and lots of people who have worked a Kaplan in top management and lots and lots of people who have gone to college there and no matter what anyone else says I know Kaplan is a rip off. They use every trick in the book to get the “students” financial help and get them in over their head just for profit. I know of no one who has gotten ahead by going there. They are in debt and working for $10 p/hour.

        • NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

          January 8, 2015 at 6:37 pm

          I haven’t deleted any comments. They were reported by other readers and they went into the trash. I simply didn’t restore them.

          • Reggie

            January 8, 2015 at 8:07 pm

            Why didn’t you restore them Matt? If you truly believe what Voltaire said and YOU had on your header then restore them. If you don’t then you should just have “This is my blog and if you don’t agree with me I will delete your comment”

          • Matt Marquardt

            January 8, 2015 at 9:22 pm

            You sound de-ranged, Reggie. Go stand in the blizzard for an hour or so.

          • LVS

            January 9, 2015 at 8:03 am

            @Reggie-I have comments deleted all the time. Some I agree with and some I don’t. But, I don’t bitch about it and cry because my comment is gone. I learn from it and go on. Try it. It might keep you from having a stroke.

          • Anonymous

            January 9, 2015 at 8:54 am

            What Matt says is “agree with what i mean but not necessarily what I say unless your name is Peter and you drive traffic to my site. Then say any crazy crap you want.” At least that is what I have gleaned.

          • Reggie

            January 9, 2015 at 2:07 pm

            “You sound de-ranged, Reggie. Go stand in the blizzard for an hour or so.”So because I point out the hypocrisy you continue to display I am now mentally ill? Well I guess that’s better than being called a drug addict or a junkie. This death wish for me of standing out in a blizzard, is a little odd even for you Matt.

  6. Reggie Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    I wonder how long it takes “someone” to report these comments as “absurd and pointless” and they get bounced?

    • Reggie Reply Report comment

      January 7, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      According to Vegas the Over/Under is 3 hours. I’ll take the under.

      • Reggie Reply Report comment

        January 7, 2015 at 8:38 pm

        Winner, winner chicken dinner. I’m now going to Vegas to collect my winnings. Does anyone want me to say hi to Philly for them? Buzz,LVS or Maybe? Just let me know.

        • Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

          January 9, 2015 at 11:17 am

          Hey Reggie…just saw your post. Please don’t say anything to Peter for me.

          I’ll take some of those Vegas odds that ol’ Philly is still on here slinking around the way it is!!!

  7. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 6, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Kaplin is just another in a long list of liberal left wing communist colleges in this country. They are owned by the Washington Post, that should tell you all you need to know about Kaplin.

    This poor gal doesn’t look like she has ever had a smile on her face ever. (Just my opinion, rag on me if you wish.)

    • John Reply Report comment

      January 6, 2015 at 6:26 pm

      I don’t know why this showed up as anonymous, I wrote this. And again, just my opinion, if you disagree feel free to rag, If you have a point though, I reserve the right to rebut, he he.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 7, 2015 at 6:05 am

        I’ve dealt with her and she’s not very nice. I guess if I had that chin I wouldn’t be either.

        • LVS Reply Report comment

          January 7, 2015 at 8:09 am

          @Anonymous-Not really the chin, just the neck under the chin.

          • Just the facts

            January 10, 2015 at 11:50 am

            She has a neck ??

        • NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

          January 8, 2015 at 6:53 pm

          She hung up on me after about three questions. Real class act serving the people of Mason City.

    • Concerned... Reply Report comment

      January 7, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      It is spelled Kaplan actually and is no longer owned by the Washington Post, I would get facts straight and spelling down before I begin bashing on someone/something else. Just my opinion.

      • Live in a glass house Reply Report comment

        January 7, 2015 at 9:05 pm

        Actually, you are both kinda right. Graham Holdings owned both the Washington Post and Kaplan inc. sold the newspaper (to Bezos??) and kept Kaplan because it was more profitable.

    • rahmbo Reply Report comment

      January 14, 2015 at 2:25 pm

      Who in their right mind calls the privately-held, for profit school called Kaplan a commie outfit?

      What would that make the state run, public schools such as Niacc, Iowa, or Iowa State?

      And btw–the WaPo has been a rightwing conservative newspaper for a couple of decades now, at least. This isn’t 1973 and hasn’t been for quite awhile.

  8. Live in a glass house Reply Report comment

    January 2, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    They don’t even have teachers any more at the mason city campus……Valencia turned it into a sales call center!

    • LVS Reply Report comment

      January 3, 2015 at 8:51 am

      @live-Yep, and I will bet she still gets her huge bonus and never gives a thought to the people she has put out of a job or conned into massive student debt.

      • Anonymous Reply Report comment

        January 4, 2015 at 8:55 pm

        Conned in to massive student debt for $9 an hour job if you’re lucky.

    • debmc@yahoo.com Reply Report comment

      January 5, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      Obviously a person sympathetic to employees. Not.

  9. LVS Reply Report comment

    January 2, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    @mememe-Grow up you idiot. You sound like a child having a tantrum.

  10. rahmbo Reply Report comment

    January 2, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    So, what exactly did she do at Kaplan? If she was a secretary not making policy or recruiting students to that fraudulent road show, who cares?

    If she worked in financial aid or admissions, imho she should be indicted.

  11. FUBAR Reply Report comment

    January 2, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Matt do we have to get on the mayors agenda to be heard at a council meeting? Anyone willing to meet at the council meeting the next time. Fill the chairs with protesters.

    • NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      January 2, 2015 at 1:41 pm

      You don’t need permission from the Mayor to attend a council meeting. During the televised portion of the meeting, if you go to the podium, you have to speak from an agenda item. The public forum at the end allows you to tell the mayor and council anything you want.

    • LVS Reply Report comment

      January 2, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      @FUBAR-You can try and voice your opinion, but in the past they have just ignored or looked bored everytime someone did that. They are not interested in what anyone has to say or in your opinion. They have proved that over and over. It is one of the reason no one goes to the council meetings.

  12. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 1, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Kaplan is a joke and most employers think the same.

  13. LeftMC Reply Report comment

    December 31, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Matt, are you the “one citizen” who said this? Are you interviewing yourself for your own articles?

    “The common person doesn’t have a chance now,” said one Mason City citizen. “The fox is guarding the hen house. What a disgrace this has become.”

    • Trudy Masterson Reply Report comment

      January 1, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      FLAMED^^^. Giggle.

    • LeftMC Reply Report comment

      January 7, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      I’ll take the lack of response to my question as an affirmative. Quoting yourself as an anonymous “citizen” to craft your own “journalistic” story to your liking is among many things, unethical, lazy, and strange. Be the real journalist you want to be Matt. No credibility will ever be given to this site or you until you do. This is just sad.

      • Reggie Reply Report comment

        January 10, 2015 at 10:57 am

        During the last election Matt was writing in the third person quite a bit. When I asked him about it he said he would explain it sometime but never did. It’s much easier to find someone to agree with you if you look no farther than the mirror.

        • LVS Reply Report comment

          January 10, 2015 at 11:14 am

          Damn Reggie-give it a rest already. Everyone else has moved on. You are getting as bad as Philosopus.

          • Reggie

            January 10, 2015 at 11:51 am

            Sorry LVS I guess I didn’t realize there was a time limit on commenting. I just saw Leftmc’s follow up post and wanted to comment. Just like you do quite a bit.

          • LVS

            January 10, 2015 at 1:41 pm

            @Reggie-It’s OK, you have just reconfirmed my faith in human nature. You are still a Reggie.

  14. LVS Reply Report comment

    December 31, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    It just get worse and worse.

  15. Allen Reply Report comment

    December 31, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Birds of a feather, flock together, or so I’m told…