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Beryl Lieff Benderly

Falsely Claiming Ph.D. Leads to Criminal Charges

An erstwhile academician is facing criminal charges of stealing nearly a third of a million dollars as a result of falsely claiming to have earned a Ph.D. at Rush University, the health sciences institution in Chicago. The indictment alleges that, because of her bogus assertion of graduate studies and a doctorate, Carol Howley, who taught at Chicago’s Richard J. Daley College, received $307,000 more in salary than she would have based on her actual qualifications, reports the Chicago Tribune.  

Howley allegedly told a hiring committee she was doing graduate work at Rush when she landed the job at Daley in 1995. She later claimed to have completed her doctorate, the indictment states. It was not until a potential employer in Colorado contacted Rush to confirm Howley’s qualifications that the falsehood was discovered. Not only did Howley not receive a Ph.D. from Rush in January 1997, she never even studied there, the university stated.

And in case prosecutors want to further strengthen their case, there’s additional evidence that Howley lacks the ability even to adequately research her false statements: According to John Gasiorowski, inspector general for the City Colleges of Chicago, as quoted in the article, “Rush told us, ‘We don’t even have graduation in January.’ “