Early yesterday morning, FBI agents searched the law offices of Delaware Valley High School (DVHS) president David T. Shulick, located in Logan Circle.
Shulick, the president of DVHS, which has a location in East Falls, said investigators took documents from Chaka Fattah Jr.’s office at Shulick’s legal firm. Fattah Jr. is the son of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah and works as a consultant for Schulick. Shulick says the probe is unrelated to his law clients.
Shulick responded to a NewsWorks call with an email statement. In his email, he said that “investigators were given documents that were within Chaka Fattah, Jr.’s office” and that these documents “were not documents that in any way related to any of the clients of Shulick Law Offices.”
He did not, however, clarify DVHS’s role in the investigation, only saying that the investigation was a “mutual exchange of information in a highly respectiveful manner between DVHS and the investigative authorities.”
DVHS is an alternative education company that is a for-profit company. The company operates by seeking contracts with school districts who pay DVHS to take on students who are at-risk of not graduating, including those with disciplinary problems. Within the DVHS program, students are expected to have a higher success rate to graduate.
It was reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer that federal authorities are investigating a “company owned by Fattah” and seeking answers as to why this company was “paid $450,000 by an education firm that has received millions in contracts from the Philadelphia School District,” all according to unknown sources that the Inquirer deemed were “familiar with the probe.”
The agents also searched Fattah’s home at the Ritz Carlton in Center City. Shulick’s perspective of Chaka Fattah Jr. is that he is “being victimized merely because his last name is Fattah.” He says he has a “personal and professional” relationship with Fattah, and “cares about him.”
Shulick says he is passionate about at-risk youths, and that his company is “saving money for public school districts” by taking at-risk youth and helping them “become productive members of their society instead of high school “dropouts.”
The email also stated that “Shulick and DVHS have nothing to hide, and fully cooperated with the investigation. “
Calls left to the FBI were not unreturned.
NewsWorks will continue to follow this story as more information becomes available.