Saturday, October 31, 2020

Wisconsin’s Lieutenant Governor, Mandela Barnes Lies About College Degree


MADISON – Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes told the public months ago he finished college and received a degree but now says he didn’t graduate.

Barnes told the Madison weekly newspaper Isthmus recently he left college about 10 years ago before completing his degree at Alabama A&M University.

“I had a class. I got an incomplete. I completed the coursework to get that incomplete resolved. It never got turned in,” Barnes told the newspaper. “It’s a small technical thing.”

But in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in November, Barnes said twice he “finished” college in 2008, prompting the Journal Sentinel to report that he graduated from the university.

- Advertisement -

Barnes also said during a September episode of the Capital Times’ podcast “Wedge Issues” that he “finished college” in 2008.

And in a candidate questionnaire published in 2018 by the Wisconsin State Journal, Barnes was reported answering that he received a “BA in Broadcast Journalism” from Alabama A&M University, which would mean he had earned and graduated with the bachelors of arts degree.

Related: Wisconsin man charged in $30 million luxury car fraud scheme

The State Journal published what Barnes supplied the newspaper for the Q&A feature, according to the newspaper. Barnes’ Facebook page also says he graduated in 2008.

But Barnes’ Assembly entry in the Wisconsin Blue Book, which lists background information about lawmakers and government officials, shows him as attending the university — not graduating.

- Advertisement -

Earl Arms, spokesman for Barnes, said Barnes has been up front about his time at the Alabama university.

“Lt. Gov. Barnes has always been transparent when asked about his graduation status. From his time as a state representative through now, Lt. Gov. Barnes has stated that he attended Alabama A&M, not graduated,” Arms said, though Barnes told the Journal Sentinel he “finished.”

Arms said a former staff member of Barnes’ campaign supplied the State Journal with inaccurate information.

“The lieutenant governor regrets that oversight and is working to address any misconceptions that have come from it,” he said.

Barnes told the Isthmus he is working now to finish a degree in telecommunications and expects to do so soon.

“I didn’t leave on a bad note. It’s not like there was some deficiency where I dropped out … I was senior class president,” Barnes told the Isthmus. “This is something that (the university) wants to see resolved as much as I want to see resolved.”

Related: Wisconsin man facing federal charges in money laundering scheme involving luxury cars

Several other media outlets also have reported Barnes’ 2008 graduation from the Alabama university, and he has been described as a graduate at public events.

His campaign Twitter account also retweeted a story published in November by the Huntsville Times in Alabama with the headline “Alabama A&M graduate becomes first black lieutenant governor of Wisconsin.” In May 2018, Barnes also tweeted photos of him in a cap and gown at the university’s graduation ceremony.

Arms did not answer questions about whether Barnes or his staff sought to correct reports of Barnes graduating.

Jerome Saintjones, a spokesman for Alabama A&M, said Barnes is an alum “who matriculated here as an active and involved student from Fall 2003 to Spring 2008.”

Related: Ex-Alabama lawmaker Oliver Robinson sentenced to 33 months for bribery and fraud

Saintjones said although Barnes did not fully complete his degree, university officials are still working with him to “resolve the matter which resulted in the incomplete grade.”

“There are a number of reasons for such situations, including the retiring or moving on of a professor, the death of a professor, curricular changes or deletions, etc,” he said.

- Advertisement -

University of Wisconsin-Madison journalism professor Michael Wagner, who specializes in political communication, said it’s unclear whether the episode will matter to voters should he seek another political office.

“It’s pretty cut and dry that he lied and that usually doesn’t sit well with the voters,” said Wagner. But the impact in a polarized electorate is unknown, he added.

“We’ve seen lots of scandals at statehouses that were electrifying at a time that seem to fade away,” Wagner said. “In the Trump era, politicians can choose to try to ride it out and hope the news cycle changes.”


Actress Lori Loughlin begins 2-month prison sentence for role in college admissions scam

Actress Lori Loughlin reported to a federal prison in Northern California on Friday to start a two-month sentence for her role in a massive...

FirstEnergy fires CEO, other executives over Ohio bribery scandal

FirstEnergy Corp. has fired its CEO amid multiple federal investigations related to an Ohio nuclear bailout law passed year. The Akron-based utility company announced in a...

Ukraine’s court strips critical power from anti-corruption agency

Ukraine's Constitutional Court has stripped the country’s anti-corruption agency of some of its critical powers. The high court’s ruling published on October 28 declared it...

Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak sent back to prison for 17 years in corruption case

Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was ordered back to prison on Thursday (Oct 29) as the country's Supreme Court upheld a 17-year jail...

Nigerian court declines to issue international arrest warrant for fugitive ex-Petroleum Minister in corruption case

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Wednesday, refused an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for an arrest...

Subscribe For More

Get our daily notification on the latest financial crimes news around the World


Latest News

This Week

Two U.S. Navy service members get prison for defrauding military insurance program

Two U.S. Navy service members were sentenced in San Diego federal court Friday for their roles in an insurance fraud scheme that involved making false medical claims to...

Mid-Small financial institutions to benefit from Oracle’s Anti-money laundering protection

Oracle today announced new cloud services to help mid-sized banks combat money laundering and outsmart financial crime. Oracle Financial Crime and Compliance Management Cloud Service brings...

Former President of nuclear transportation company gets prison in scheme to bribe Russian official

A Maryland businessman convicted of plotting to pay a Russian official more than $1.5 million in bribes to get lucrative contracts for transporting uranium...

Macau to sign agreement with World Bank Group over money laundering risk assessment

Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak was granted powers by the Chief executive to sign a Reimbursable Advisory Services Agreement Concerning Risk Assessment of...

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks