A Republican candidate running for the GOP nomination in a Florida legislative seat is under fire after school officials said she lied about graduating from Miami University in Ohio and faked her diploma.
According to FLA News Online, Melissa Howard, who wants a Sarasota-area state House seat, claimed that she earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the Ohio school.
The news website originally reported that Howard did not earn the degree, but briefly retracted their story after Howard provided a photo posing with a copy of her diploma.
However, after further investigation and confirmation with the university, FLA News and Sarasota’s Herald-Tribune, reported Saturday that the diploma was fake.
Miami University general counsel Robin Parker told the outlets that while Howard attended the university, there is no record of her earning a degree in 1994 or 1996, as she previously claimed.
The school also reportedly said that they do not offer a Bachelor of Science in Marketing.
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 nonprofit group that works with Miami University and originally stated Howard did not earn her degree, sent FLA News a certificate from the university stating that Howard did not earn a degree.
Howard did not respond to a Political Dig request for comment on this report.