Response to DeMille-Brooks Lawsuit

by Board of Trustees on December 11, 2015

Given the strength of our documentation and protocols when investigating invalid degrees, we were surprised on December 10 to receive a legal complaint of defamation from Oliver DeMille, Shanon Brooks and Monticello College. We are presently seeking legal analysis and will respond with more detail if needed.

On the initial reading, however, the allegations appear to be a bizarre and frivolous attempt to deny and halt our revoking of illegitimate degrees, and to prevent us from keeping the public informed.  In some ways this may descend even below the level of a frivolous lawsuit. To see DeMille and Brooks now seeking to undermine our efforts to clean up their academic offenses shows a stunning disregard for the alumni, who have been leading the work to repair this damage for several years.

Meanwhile, no university revokes degrees for light or fictitious reasons.  Policies are followed and solid documentation is standard. We will not be deterred from completing our final disciplinary actions on illegitimate degrees of the past.  Moreover, identifying the former administrators who participated in or committed these acts is part of basic evidence reporting, and failure to fully disclose this would have weakened and destroyed what is a standard cleanup process.  Our duty is to the students, alumni and the public. The facts of record speak for themselves and we fully expect this lawsuit to be dismissed.

We have also shared the lawsuit filing with the Utah Division of Consumer Protection, the regulators with whom we have worked closely over the years to clean up the problems we inherited.

Meanwhile, our students and alumni continue to need their degrees validated as they enter graduate schools each year, and advance in their chosen fields and public service. As always, protecting the integrity of legitimately earned credentials for the just benefit of alumni and students will remain our top priority.

To summarize, DeMille and Brooks’ new implication that our cleanup has been merely a plot to discredit them is ludicrous.  For our volunteer board, this lengthy cleanup has only occurred as a costly endeavor of personal sacrifice. Our duty is simple—to give an accurate accounting to all George Wythe stakeholders, and to clear those alumni who diligently earned their degrees.  We will continue undeterred and not allow baseless, frivolous distractions to delay our cleanup progress.

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