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(UPDATED FRIDAY AT 2 p.m.)
By Randy Economy
In a stunning announcement, Democratic State Assembly candidate Cristina Garcia admitted that she does not have a Doctoral degree from the University of Southern California less than one month before voters decide her fate at the ballot box.
Garcia is in a tight November election campaign in the newly drawn 58th State Assembly District against Downey businesswoman Patricia Kotze-Ramos.
Los Cerritos Community Newspaper broke the news on Thursday afternoon about the Garcia admission.
Garcia has campaigned heavily on “cleaning up corruption” and for “open transparency in Sacramento.”
Garcia told Los Cerritos Community Newspaper in a statement on Thursday afternoon:
“In my campaign literature for state assembly, I stated that I have a PhD from USC. While I have finished all of my course work, I technically am only a PhD candidate. I have yet to finish the final process of my PhD, which is defending my dissertation. I will fulfill that final responsibility in the near future.”
“As such, I take full responsibility for using the term PhD instead of PhD candi¬date in my campaign literature. For that I humbly apologize and ask for the for¬giveness and understanding of all the voters of the 58th Assembly District,” Garcia said.
“The facts of the matter are these. In the fall of 2009, I completed all my required class work and took my qualifying exams to receive my PhD in Public Adminis¬tration for the University of Southern California. I completed my dissertation in 2010. My dissertation included a more than one hundred pages thesis detailing social barriers that discourage volunteerism among women in the United States. Woman participating in public service is something near and dear to my heart,” she said.
“It is the reason I decided to vigilantly participate in anti-corruption efforts throughout southeast Los Angeles County. I have included a copy of my tran¬script to provide documentation of these facts.”
“Again, I ask forgiveness and understanding of all the voters of the 58th Assembly District. I remain dedicated to helping to provide the people I hope to serve with government that is transparent and ethical,” Garcia concluded.
Kotze-Ramos, who is challenging Garcia for the newly created Assembly seat told LCCN, “I did know that Cristina lied about her credentials. I think it is commendable that she came forward to tell the truth. It is not the worst thing in the world. I am not into mudslinging. This campaign is about who is going to be the best representative for our community.”
Kotze-Ramos, who oversees a private investigation business, said she did not “know what prompted Cristina to make this announcement”
“It is not good to lie,” Kotze-Ramos said. “Did they not expect that this would eventually come out in the public light?”
“The fact is the lie is out, no PhD from USC,” Kotze-Ramos said in a written statement on Friday to Los Cerritos Community Newspaper.
“Democratic 58th State Assembly District candidate Cristina Garcia admitted that she does not have a Doctoral degree from the University of Southern California as she had previously claimed. It’s unfortunate Garcia lied about education and deceived the voters in the primaries. Garcia stated she had a PhD from USC, which is not the truth,” Kotze-Ramos said.
“The platform that Democratic State Assembly candidate Cristina Garcia promotes on her website is, ‘Reform, Ethics and Transparency.’ She is quoted saying, ‘I believe that if we don’t have ethical elected officials, then we can’t have government that works for us. It’s that simple.’ I am not going to pass judgment on my incumbent, I’m sure she is enduring the consequences of her decision. The voters will decide her fate at the ballot box.
COPYRIGHT BY LOS CERRITOS COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER.
Republishing Granted with Attribution to Los Cerritos Community Newspaper.
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