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Cuccinelli backs Va. Tech appeal of federal fines

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Virginia Tech has the backing of state Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II in the school's plan to appeal $55,000 in federal fines for charges that it failed to quickly alert the campus during the 2007 shooting that left more than 30 students and faculty members dead.

The U.S. Department of Education levied the fines in March after determining that the school violated federal law. Calling the determination "absolutely appalling," Mr. Cuccinelli said it is based on a poorly defined federal law applied subjectively to treat Virginia Tech unfairly.

"They're using that as an opportunity to beat on the back of Virginia Tech, and we're not going to let them do that," said Mr. Cuccinelli, a Republican.

On April 16, 2007, an email alert was sent out more than two hours after two students were fatally shot in a dormitory. By that time, student Seung-hui Cho was chaining shut the doors to a classroom building where he killed 30 more students and faculty and himself.

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