InfiLaw suspends request to buy Charleston Law

NAPLES, Fla. (WCIV) -- The company that spent the last year trying to buy the Charleston School of Law has suspended its request with the state's Commission on Higher Education.

The decision comes a day before the Commission was set to vote on the sale.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, InfiLaw says the decision came on the recommendation of Sen. John Courson, the chairman of the Senate Education Committee.

InfiLaw says Courson asked for the suspension so the "Commission and its staff could have time to more carefully review these matters."

"We, like Senator Courson, are concerned by the conflict between the staff recommendation to approve the license, the committee's recommendation to deny the license and the Attorney General's opinion which establishes clearly that the CHE can only make licensure decisions based on the criteria articulated in law and regulation, which is what the staff did in making its recommendation," the statement reads.

"Given these circumstances, we want to give the Commission additional time to consider and reconcile these issues, including responses to questions we submitted just a few days ago."

InfiLaw said it would still work with the school's current owners to broker a path forward.

"We are committed to this acquisition and intend to renew our application in due course," the InfiLaw statement read in closing.

Officials at the Charleston School of Law said there would not be any interviews given on the matter, but did post an update on its blog tracking developments in the sale.

According to the school, InfiLaw's decision does not jeopardize the school's accreditation so long as the school's financial situation does not get worse.

"However, this delay and the drawn out licensure process has not been helpful," the post reads.

The post had few definite answers in terms of federal loans for students, the school's financial condition, or possible downsizing. .

"Despite the downturn in enrollment over the last several years, we were able to forestall any significant staff or faculty reductions, although we have not been able to offer faculty raises for three years," the school said. "However, given the current financial circumstances, ownership limbo and the delay in resolving this issue, our resources have become more limited in light of declining enrollments and it is clear we must quickly come up with a plan to run and operate the school that reflects current financial circumstances."

The board will continue to operate the school until the sale is resolved, according to the law school.