Olivia (“Libby”) DeBlasio Webster is a far-left predatory political activist who has worked behind the scenes as an Assistant AG in Colorado, using the power and prestige of the AG’s office to attack private career colleges. Her mission and career, guided by political animus, have demonstrated a desire to harass, intimidate, and retaliate against private career colleges and individuals associated with them. Her career mission is to destroy—to cripple and close private career colleges, including mine, CollegeAmerica. (See The Colorado Attorney General’s Assault on CollegeAmerica.)
Webster had a list of private career colleges to assault. First, she attacked Westwood Career Colleges (now closed) and extorted a settlement of millions; then she attacked Argosy University, extorting millions in another settlement (it is now out of business). Then, she came after CollegeAmerica and demanded “a blank check,” as she said, “Be prepared to pay many millions of dollars,” or she would initiate a crippling lawsuit. We refused. So, we stopped her. She lost her power to extort.
However, Webster immediately filed a huge motion for 21 injunctions, which would have crippled and closed CollegeAmerica. We fought her all week in court. A respected senior judge, Judge Mullins, rejected every last one of her demanded 21 injunctions and told her from the bench that she had a tainted view and was biased against private career colleges. For a judge to say that from the bench is a severe rebuke.
Most attorneys would have ended the case at that point, but not Webster. She wanted destruction. She redoubled her efforts and subjected our colleges to two more years of crippling discovery and litigation. She got herself a plaintiff-friendly new judge, Ross Buchanan. After a four-week trial, Buchanan sat on the case for almost three years! Then, under pressure from the Colorado Commission for Judicial Discipline and after being reprimanded, he simply rubber-stamped Webster’s wish list and issued it as his opinion. It smacked of retaliation for the complaints we filed against him.
This was a shocking setback for us. We immediately appealed. And Webster lost again. The Colorado Court of Appeals vacated Buchanan’s order. And, in a stunning rebuke, it kicked Judge Buchanan off the case and granted us a brand-new trial with a new judge.
When the Court of Appeals ruled, Webster lost her $3 million in “penalties.” She lost her claim for $6 to $7 million in fees and costs. Effectively, at that point, she lost everything. She had squandered over $10 million of Colorado taxpayers’ money in order to destroy three small colleges.
But, incredibly, she still did not give-up. She’s petitioned the Colorado Supreme Court to impose special limits on the new trial—to stack the deck in her favor. Even if the Supreme Court grants her request, all Webster will have accomplished is wasting more time and more taxpayers’ money. There is nothing more for her to gain because the colleges are closed.
Libby has lost everything and is now quitting. She withdrew from the case (see Notice of Withdrawal for Olivia D. Webster), and she quit the Colorado AG’s office (was she encouraged to leave?). She is now working for a private organization, The Post-Secondary Equity and Economics Research Project, which is a far-left group dedicated to the destruction of private career colleges. (See Government Crushes For-Profit Colleges, Jobs, Students’ Dreams, which describes the government’s closing of ITT’s career colleges.) Colorado taxpayers, private colleges, and all businessmen can celebrate that Libby DeBlasio Webster has left the Colorado AG’s Office.
Prosecutors (including AGs) are charged with pursuing justice, not attacking politically disfavored individuals and private career colleges. Webster needs to be held accountable for her destructive conduct and massive waste of taxpayers’ money; someone needs to stop her malicious crusade to punish her personal enemies—politically-disfavored organizations, individuals, and private career colleges. Who can? Who will?
I’d be interested to hear your thoughts in the comment section or via email.
Carl B. Barney
February 2, 2022