Sarasota Republican candidate accused of faking college diploma

Posted at 3:50 AM, Aug 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-13 06:26:59-04

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — A candidate for the Florida Legislature is being accused of lying about graduating from college and using a fake diploma.

Miami University in Ohio told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that Florida House candidate Melissa Howard attended the school but never graduated. The school also says the diploma she produced is counterfeit, saying it doesn't match those issued in 1994.

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The Republican businesswoman is running in the Aug. 28 primary.

Howard's educational background was first questioned last week by the website Florida News Online. She called the accusation false and said she went to Ohio to get the diploma at her mother's house.

After Howard posted a photo of the diploma, the website took down its story, but the university then said her claim was false.

Howard did not answer a call Sunday from The Associated Press. She has since deleted both her Facebook and Twitter accounts.