Friday, February 22, 2013

Is Her BA BS?

When Lovel Pratt ran for Council back in 2008, she said that she had "attended" Keene State College in New Hampshire (as well as Bryn Mawr and the Anthropology Film Center). You can see her say so in her own words from this old Q&A piece from the Journal.

So, it came as a bit of a surprise to read on her campaign website that she had been awarded a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from Keene State College. That's funny ... I didn't know Pratt had any degree.  She had never mentioned previously that she had a degree, only that she attended Keene State College. And there was no longer any mention of Bryn Mawr either.

But perhaps it was just a typo or scrivener's error on her campaign website. However, Pratt's assertion that she earned a BA from Keene State started showing up other places too. It was listed as part of her candidate's statement for the Eagle Forum. More importantly, it was listed on page 116 of the Voter's Pamphlet from last November's general election. Also, it's listed as part of her current official campaign statement for both the primary and general election that we are now engaged in.

Others began to notice this potential discrepancy too, so some inquiries were made to the registrar of Keene State College about Lovel Pratt's (née Richardson's) degree status. Here's what the registrar says:
________________________________________________________________

From: Kornreich, Ilene <ikornreich@keene.edu>
Date: Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 11:46 AM
Subject: Lovel Richardson

Lovel Richardson, attended Keene State College from 1980 through 1984, however, never received a degree.

Ilene

Ilene Wheeler
Registrar’s Office
Keene State College

30 comments:

  1. Holy Fraud Batman!

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  2. Only the news that is not fit to print.

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  3. Oh, it must be a mistake with the database at the college! It was so long ago, and record keeping was loose in the old days. Besides, what is the problem?
    Surly, many years of public service are worth more than a silly paper diploma!

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  4. Guys lie about stuff too... So guess its o.k

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  5. It is what it is. It is what it looks like. And the tip of the iceberg.

    Don't let this linger. Let's get it done, get this behind us and move on.

    This one is over and done with. Time for this community to start healing.

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  6. Healing is about closure. Need justice. The community has just been sucker punched.

    Who else knew about this? Campaign committee members, other candidates, campaign contributors ...

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  7. UNDER ELECTION RCW's Crimes and Penalties section for elections

    RCW 29A.84.311
    Candidacy declarations, nominating petitions.

    Every person who:

    (1) Knowingly provides false information on his or her declaration of candidacy or petition of nomination; or

    (2) Conceals or fraudulently defaces or destroys a certificate that has been filed with an elections officer under chapter 29A.20 RCW or a declaration of candidacy or petition of nomination that has been filed with an elections officer, or any part of such a certificate, declaration, or petition, is guilty of a class C felony punishable under RCW 9A.20.021.

    HOLY $#!+ If you make false statements on your filing for office, it is a felony.

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  8. So either you "knowingly" did something wrong = felony....

    or, somehow, as if by magic, the candidacy filing fairies (the bad ones), wrote this for you, then it would be "unknowingly", right??

    Or wait.... we just don't understand.

    Folks, just remember, the rules are for us, not them.

    Probably only loses 1-2% of the vote for something like this. DUII arrest, maybe 4%. Drug possession arrest, well heck, that might actually gain some votes....

    Still need to campaign for the candidates we want to see win....

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  9. My take is that if Lovel knowingly tweaked her credentials it shows that she is becoming increasingly aware of the possibility that she no longer has the support she needs to win an election. Goes around comes around.

    So keep campaigning for Bob, Rick, and Brian. At least those are the people I'm behind.

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  10. This makes no sense--why would she do something that stupid?

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  11. I have posted in other threads about focusing on the issues and not making personal attacks on candidates.

    This, however, is not an attack, but it is a legitimate question. Do you or do you not have the BA degree that you state you have?

    If this candidate does not have a BA, but has represented that she does, then she quite simply has broken a public trust.

    If she does have a BA, then she should come out and let it be known.

    Fortunatly for her, she is not guilty of any specific crime - but as an undecided voter, if this is true, then she has definitly lost my vote - and should gracfully step aside.

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  12. Doesn't really feels a bit off here

    That Brickworks episode was troubling. A lot of folks who really wanted that project to happen were worried about her conflict of interest but she couldn't seem to recognize it.

    Hard to speculate until we learn more.

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  13. @6:41

    It is only a crime if she lied on her "Declaration of Candidacy" document.

    That document would not have required her to input her education - so no... it would not be a Felony.

    Senator Roach introduced a Bill in 2011 that would have made it illegal to lie in a voters pamphlet (about yourself), but the bill was never passed. I am not clear that Pratt discussed her education in the voters pamphlet, but it would be worth checking as a point of reference.

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  14. Voter pamphlet based on submitted candidate statement? Implication?

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  15. Ok, lets try this one on for size
    RCW 9A.60.070
    False academic credentials — Unlawful issuance or use — Definitions — Penalties.

    2) A person is guilty of knowingly using a false academic credential if the person knowingly uses a false academic credential or falsely claims to have a credential issued by an institution of higher education that is accredited by an accrediting association recognized as such by rule of the student achievement council:
    (a) In a written or oral advertisement or other promotion of a business; or

    (b) With the intent to:

    (i) Obtain employment;

    (ii) Obtain a license or certificate to practice a trade, profession, or occupation;

    (iii) Obtain a promotion, compensation or other benefit, or an increase in compensation or other benefit, in employment or in the practice of a trade, profession, or occupation;

    (iv) Obtain admission to an educational program in this state; or

    (v) Gain a position in government with authority over another person, regardless of whether the person receives compensation for the position.

    (3) The definitions in this subsection apply throughout this section and RCW 28B.85.220.

    (a) "False academic credential" means a document that provides evidence or demonstrates completion of an academic or professional course of instruction beyond the secondary level that results in the attainment of an academic certificate, degree, or rank, and that is not issued by a person or entity that: (i) Is an entity accredited by an agency recognized as such by rule of the student achievement council or has the international equivalents of such accreditation; or (ii) is an entity authorized as a degree-granting institution by the student achievement council; or (iii) is an entity exempt from the requirements of authorization as a degree-granting institution by the student achievement council; or (iv) is an entity that has been granted a waiver by the student achievement council from the requirements of authorization by the council. Such documents include, but are not limited to, academic certificates, degrees, coursework, degree credits, transcripts, or certification of completion of a degree.

    Well, this gets it down to a gross misdemeanor.

    Read #2 again. "falsely claims to have a credential issued by an institution of higher education"

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  16. What's new? All who have witnessed the years of Lovel Pratt in "public service" know without doubt this person has a major problem with any attachment to the moral high ground.

    Surprise, it appears CAPRA is doing well with a suit based on the execution of secret meetings by none other than Lovel Pratt as chair of the County Council at that time.

    Seems Mr. Gaylord is already open to settlement talks.

    I'm not a fan of CAPRA, but money to our own Frank Penwell is justified and deserved if he agrees it will only be spent on this suit, not thrown into the CAPRA general fund. (When I say "our own" I mean he lives here, not that he belongs to anybody. Gotta be careful walking in the TH, which is one of the best things about it.)(And now I'm blazing through the robot. Well maybe on the third try.)

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  17. The proper legal analysis will come after the facts are established. I'm not sure @7:23's conclusions are correct, but at the same time, Lovel may be needing a lawyer who makes creative interpretations, and it sounds like there may be at least one out there.

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  18. RCW 49.44.040
    Obtaining employment by false letter or certificate.

    Every person who shall obtain employment or appointment to any office or place of trust, by color or aid of any false or forged letter or certificate of recommendation, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

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  19. Maybe she can get some tips from Rick Thompson... him and that weasel David McCauley did a pretty good job of the "nothing to see here, carry on" routine...

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  20. Yeah, and Lovel's husband, Boyd, was right in the middle of that scandal with Rick Thompson on the school board... maybe he can give her some good tips.

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  21. I predict that none of the local media will cover this very important (assuming it isn't proven untrue) story. Thanks to the TH we have a source of direct unfiltered news.
    Getting your local news from the Sound Pub. misc. or the SJIslander is like getting your national news from MSNBC.

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  22. RCW 9A.76.175
    Making a false or misleading statement to a public servant.

    A person who knowingly makes a false or misleading material statement to a public servant is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. "Material statement" means a written or oral statement reasonably likely to be relied upon by a public servant in the discharge of his or her official powers or duties.

    Hmmmm.... let's think of examples of "public servant in the discharge of his or her official powers or duties"...
    Well, the election officer who prints the voters phamplets comes to mind...

    Let's think of examples of "false statements"....
    plenty of those come to mind.

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  23. RCW 9.04.010
    False advertising.

    Any person, firm, corporation or association who, with intent to sell or in any wise dispose of merchandise, securities, service, or anything offered by such person, firm, corporation or association, directly or indirectly, to the public for sale or distribution, or with intent to increase the consumption thereof, or to induce the public in any manner to enter into any obligation relating thereto, or to acquire title thereto, or an interest therein, makes, publishes, disseminates, circulates, or places before the public, or causes, directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated, or placed before the public in this state, in a newspaper or other publication, or in the form of a book, notice, hand-bill, poster, bill, circular, pamphlet, or letter, or in any other way, an advertisement of any sort regarding merchandise, securities, service, or anything so offered to the public, which advertisement contains any assertion, representation or statement of fact which is untrue, deceptive or misleading, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor: PROVIDED, That the provisions of this section shall not apply to any owner, publisher, agent, or employee of a newspaper for the publication of such advertisement published in good faith and without knowledge of the falsity thereof.

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  24. I have it on good authority that proof of her degree will be provided this evening.

    Nick Power

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  25. Yes, the Trojan Heron also has just received word that Pratt intends to produce a pdf of her diploma to a member of the press, so I think we should all just wait and see what is produced. If produced, it begs the question of why the college doesn't seem to have a record of her degree, but I think we should take this story one step at a time.

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  26. That's for the update guys!

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  27. I keep saying that these "Hail Marry" passes are not the approach to take and can only backfire, this is going to be spun as mean-spirited mudslinging and will only solidify her base and win her support...please stop, just focus on her lack of work experience, her poor county record, and most importantly, her support of CAO.

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  28. I suggest you just keep following the story. This is far from a Hail Mary pass. It is a well documented controversy that needs to be sorted. This is the standard stuff that anyone being vetted for an important job would have to go through. Degree verification is now routine. So far, Pratt has failed the degree verification test, and as anyone who has been through the process can tell you (and I have been on both sides), the predisposition is to believe the degree-granting institution, not the applicant. Typically, it is the applicant who has the burden to explain issues.

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  29. Just like a little land owner trotting into the permit office and complaining about that map that says here might be a possible endangered tick lily habitat.

    Prove it. Get the study. Pay the money. Delay your dreams.

    This kind of raises everything to a new Lovel doesn't it?

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