Melissa Howard, a Republican candidate running for a Florida State House seat in the Sarasota-area, lied about graduating from Miami University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and faked her diploma, university officials told Florida political news website FLA News Online.
According to the report, Howard provided FLA News with a photo posing with a copy of her fake diploma.
Miami University General Counsel Robin Parker confirmed to the outlet that while Howard attended the university, there is no record of her earning a degree in 1994 or 1996, as she previously claimed.
The Hill adds:
The school also reportedly said that they do not offer a Bachelor of Science in Marketing, and that Howard would have earned a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences if she had graduated with her Retailing major.
The diploma in the photo also reportedly displays signatures of university officials who would not have signed a diploma for a student graduating with a bachelor’s degree in that year. National Student Clearinghouse, the non-profit group that works with Miami University and originally claimed Howard did not earn her degree, sent FLA News a certificate from the university stating that Howard did not earn a degree.
She called the allegations “lies” pushed by her Republican primary opponent, Tommy Gregory, in the race for a seat long held by the GOP.
“Instead of providing evidence refuting the direct questions raised in the story, Ms. Howard chose to pivot and attack the Gregory campaign for lying about her record,” Gregory said in a response, according to FloridaPolitics.com. “On the contrary, however, the Tommy Gregory campaign has made no statement of any kind related to the article, and while Ms. Howard may have some explaining to do, we will leave that to her, the media, and the voters of District 73.”