Florida House Republican Candidate Faked College Degree: Report

Illustration for article titled Florida House Republican Candidate Faked College Degree: Report
Screenshot: WFLA

A candidate vying for a seat in Florida’s House of Representatives has been accused of faking the Bachelor’s degree she claims she earned from Miami University. Although The Root cannot confirm the candidate’s forgery, the accusations come from a somewhat credible source:


Miami University.

Not that Miami University. The other one. The one that’s not in Miami. The one that’s in Ohio, which I definitely understand, because I once played basketball for the Lakers...

The Hartsville Lakers.

Melissa Howard is running for the Republican nomination for Florida House Seat 73 against two other candidates. The hotly-contested race has reached a boiling point over a number of what seem to be lies from Howard, although we must point out that we classify Howard’s past statements as lies only because they seem to be the opposite of true.

According to the Herald Tribune, Howard’s Facebook page says she received an A rating from the National Rifle Association. However, the NRA’s Florida lobbyist, Marion Hammer says Howard received a B grade from the organization.

But it was the hullabaloo over her college degree that seems to be spawning the most controversy.


Howard’s bio claims that she earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the Miami University in Ohio. A conservative newsletter cast doubt on Howard’s credentials when it cited Miami-Ohio’s verifications source—the National Student Clearinghouse—as proof that Howard attended the school, but didn’t graduate.

So, in one of the top-three Becky moves of all time, Rebecca the Republican said the allegations were “a lie.” Media outlets asked her for an electronic copy of her diploma but she said it was in her mother’s storage room. Then, Melissa announced on her Facebook page that she was going to provide proof.


So what was Howard’s proof?

Instead of trekking to her mommy’s closet, Howard said she flew to Ohio to obtain a copy of her degree. Then she shared a copy of her degree picture of her holding her degree. After people still questioned the picture, Howard eventually shared her transcript and a copy of the degree with the Herald-Tribune, definitively silencing the naysayers.


But not quite.

Miami of Ohio’s General Counsel, Robin Parker, responded by saying: “Melissa Marie Fox, DOB 12/25/71, does not have a degree from Miami University,” adding: “The picture of the diploma that was posted on the HowardforHouse73 Facebook page does not appear to be an accurate Miami University diploma.”


It turns out that the university doesn’t even offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. “Miami University’s degree for Marketing majors then, as it is now, was a Bachelor of Science in Business,” Parker wrote. She goes on to explain that the signatures on the diploma don’t even match and that, during her time at Miami University in Ohio, Parker was enrolled in the program for retail.

[T]he degree for that program of study was a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences,” Parker noted.


Since the bombshell allegations dropped, Howard has been unavailable for comment. Her campaign consultant announced that Howard’s husband suffered from a “cardiac event” on Friday, stating that “Melissa is focused on her family—not fake news this morning.”

While some may condemn Melissa Howard, no one has spoken about the other bait-and-switch con artist in this scenario—Miami University in Ohio. Imagine getting a scholarship offer from Miami University and preparing to bask in the warm beach sun for four years and, boom, you’re in Ohio!


There’s only one Miami!

The only Miami we acknowledge is the one that has 2 Live Crew, Rick Ross and Dwyane Wade. The King of Diamonds Miami. The one with the Sound Machine. The one with Vice. I’m calling “bullshit” on everyone in this story including Becky with the Bad Diploma and Miami University not in Miami.

World-renowned wypipologist. Getter and doer of "it." Never reneged, never will. Last real negus alive.



I just got back from the International Space Station just in time to comment on this article. Oh, what, you don’t believe that I am an astronaut?!? You checked with NASA and the ESA and I am not on the list of ISS astronauts??!!?

Oop. My wife just had a heart attack and I need to focus on the health of my family and not all you haters with your fake news. Also, I was valedictorian of my class at Harvard.... but I need to run to the hospital.