Virginia Tech seeks to block $55,000 fine

WASHINGTON (AP) - December 7, 2011

Deputy assistant education secretary David Bergeron testified before an administrative judge considering the university's appeal of a $55,000 fine levied after a 2007 shooting rampage that left 33 dead, including the shooter.

Representing the university, Peter Messitt, senior assistant attorney general for Virginia, says police responding to the initial shootings in a dormitory believed the victims were "targeted for a reason" and that the shooter had left campus.

Virginia Tech was fined under the Clery Act, a law that requires timely notification of security threats on a college campus. Family members of the dead and injured also were expected to testify.

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