March 2007
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Alicia Butler’s credentials questioned

Alicia ButlerThe Journal Star is accusing Alicia Butler of falsely claiming to have a bachelors and masters degree from Bradley University. Butler has not directly denied it.

Anyone know any more about this issue? I mean, Alicia has been on the school board for a while now. No one thought to check out her credentials before this? How did this come up all of sudden, right before the election?

I can’t quite understand Butler’s response as reported. Whether or not you have a degree is easy enough to prove — all you have to do is get out your diploma. If these allegations turn out to be true, it will be not only professionally, but personally devastating to Butler. I’m not a big Alicia Butler fan, but honestly I hate to see this happen to anyone; I hope the allegations are untrue.

Someone out there knows what’s going on — come on… give!

Update (3/31): Now that I’ve read the full article that ran in Saturday’s paper, I have to say this looks very bad for Alicia. All the other candidates were easily able to provide proof of their college degrees. As one commenter pointed out, this is easy to do. In fact, if anyone questioned my degree from ICC or my wife’s degree from Bradley, I could just go to my filing cabinet and pull out our diplomas — it would take me two minutes, tops. Why does Butler claim “she would not have time to verify the information before the election”? The election is 17 days away.

Worse, Bradley’s registrar (it wasn’t clear to me from the previous article that a Bradley official had actually verified this) has gone on record saying Butler does not have any degrees from Bradley. I’m not sure how Butler could “know” she has a degree from Bradley, yet Bradley could somehow not know.

It’s true, as the paper points out, that there is no educational requirement to be on the school board, so the fact that she doesn’t have these degrees does not disqualify Butler from her current seat or the present race. But her integrity and character are seriously in question now, and that doesn’t set well with voters who are already distrustful of sitting school board members. I think this sinks any chance there might have been of her being reelected.

On the one hand, and I’m assuming these allegations are true based on the testimony of the Bradley registrar and Butler’s inability to prove otherwise, Butler has no one to blame but herself. But on the other hand, I’m still bothered by this statement:

Triggered by allegations against Butler, the Journal Star asked all five District 150 School Board candidates to verify their educational credentials.

Who made the allegations against Butler? Was it another candidate? A sitting school board member? Is this political payback for a decision or vote Butler made? Again, I can’t have much sympathy for someone who lied on her resume, but the source of the allegation is still germane. Who wanted to ruin Butler’s reelection bid and why?

17 comments to Alicia Butler’s credentials questioned

  • peo proud

    It’s very simple to verify degrees and she could easily prove it with copies of either her transcipts or copies of her diplomas. If she doesn’t have them handy, she could get a copy of the transcripts from the University. her refusal to do so, supports the fact that she doesn’t have them.

    Since Bradley has confirmed that she didn’t have the degrees, I’m tending to believe them. What is so ironic is that she is trying to weasle out of this by deflecting attention to her “detractors” and discussing about contacting an attorney regarding her “privacy rights”. If she misled the public, she’s the one that should be held accountable by claiming degrees never earned.

    Unfortunately, as any recruiter will tell you, this is a very common practice now. Way too many people claim degrees they never earned. Most are a little smarter and don’t claim them in the same town they live in or for programs (such as her Master’s claim) that they were never enrolled in.

  • She doesn’t exactly recall the year that she graduated and is crying foul that someone dug up the truth. It’s sad that some people will do whatever they deem necessary, including deceiving the public even as she serves them, to get ahead.

    I hope the truth comes out, but from my vantage point, the truth already has.

  • anon

    As CJ pointed out, if she did earn the degrees she very clearly has maintained she earned, not just in this election but also in her first, she should be able to easily verify those accomplishments. And who forgets the year they finished something like a graduate or undergrad degree? Those are milestones in your life. You may forget the exact date of the graduation ceremony but you certainly remember the year. She lied, plain and simple. She’s committed a fraud on the public she serves and she’s set a terrible example for the children of District 150. Unless she can prove that Bradley is in error and she did actually earn a BS and MBA there she should resign from her position immediately.

    If she were an employee of Caterpillar or most other local employers and this untruth somehow got past initial screening and was verified after her she became an employee she could expect to be fired. If she were a pastor of a local church she could expect to be dismissed and if she were the new football coach at the University of Notre Dame she could expect to lose out on her multi-year, million dollar contract.

    Confess and resign Alicia.

  • justanobserver

    I worked for a local major firm where a top level manager had a degree, but put down that he got it 10 years earlier than he actually did because he thought it would look odd to get a degree at age 45. He was fired without hesitation for lying about it. It’s not a big deal if someone running for office does or doesn’t have a degree, but lying about and then lying even more (apparently) when confronted is not something we should want in people making decisions that affect all of us in one way or another.

  • mdd

    Since the PJStar prints the degrees awarded every semester from Bradley, would it be that tough to look it up in the archives?

    How long until we see a response from her like “My diploma got lost in a move.”

  • Hula Monkey

    Alicia showing a diploma is irrelevent. You can get phony diplomas on the internet and other places. Maybe Bradley made an error. It does happen. I think she should be given the opportunity to straighten things out with Bradley before she is crucified by the Journal Star and all the people who dislike her stands on the issues. If she is being dishonest then she will have to deal with the results of her actions and take responsibility for them.

  • I agree with you, Hula Monkey.

    You know, I really want to believe Alicia. And some, including Billy at the Peoria Pundit and some others who have contacted me privately, have given very plausible explanations for how this could happen. I hope they’re right. In fact, nothing would make me happier than for her to get her transcripts or whatever and post them for all to see, then sue Bradley and the Journal Star for defamation of character. But you’ve got to admit, this looks bad. This would have to be a pretty elaborate smear campaign to have the Journal Star and Bradley University in collusion.

    Legally, you’re innocent until proven guilty, but in the court of public opinion it’s the reverse. It’s not right, but that’s reality, unfortunately.

  • Eyebrows McGee

    “And who forgets the year they finished something like a graduate or undergrad degree? Those are milestones in your life. You may forget the exact date of the graduation ceremony but you certainly remember the year.”

    I have to think about the years every time, since it was 2000, 2004, 2004 for me; 1998, 2002 (or 2003? I don’t even know) for husband; and then forms always want dates of bar admissions and sometimes I just blurt out my high school graduation date (1996) because that one appears more indelibly printed on my brain than the others. To further complicated matters I was in the law school class of 2003 but graduated in 2004 because of the dual degree program. But in all law school donation drives and “class notes” I’m listed as 2003. So it’ll say “Class of 2003: Eyebrows McGee, Law ’04.”

    But still. Yes. Easy to get transcripts. Most schools let you request online for a nominal fee (or free), and process within 2 business days, and will send by fax or mail. Takes 10 minutes.

  • PrairieCelt

    The timing on this is very interesting. The article runs on a Saturday morning and there is nothing Butler can do about it until Monday when the Registrar’s office opens and she can request and pay for a certified copy of her transcripts. Of course, that assumes that she attended and graduated. If she didn’t, then she certainly has other problems to contend with.

  • anon

    Bottom line, prove that you have the undergrad and grad degrees you claimed you had when first elected 5 years ago or RESIGN. If Martha Ross lied about her undergraduate and graduate degrees some of the same people so supportive of Alicia would have no problem calling for her head.

  • peo proud

    On a lighter note…..

    C.J…I thought you were taking a lesson from Billy and beginning to post “eye candy” when the page was loading and the pic came up first 🙂

  • dada

    If the allegations about Alicia Butler are true i.e., her not having degrees from Bradly U, then she should still have some decency and resign. Alternatively, throw her out.

  • dada

    Alicia Butler, in not being forthcoming and showing the public her degrees, should just resign and get lost.

  • dada

    who needs such bimbos

  • raoul duke

    What plausable explanation can there be? Oops we messed up she did get a degree? Are we then going to overlook the claim of an advanced degree (MBA) as just a little lie, there is no way this chick comes out of this one without a face full.

  • Peo Proud

    Anxiously awaiting the statement from her attorney that the paper quoted her as saying was “coming soon”. Already I’m skeptical — anytime you need have an attorney speak for you is usually a good indication of forthcoming spin, damage-control, etc. She didn’t use an attorney to tout her credentials, stand up and be forthright and issue your own statement.

  • raoul duke

    I would love to see an attny. put the spin on this one. My clients position as an elected official did not require the credentials in question and therefore the privacy of said credentials should be protected as per the law. Since these credentials were not needed, the resume provided was for entertainment purposes only and should not be confused with my clients actual resume, the contents of which are much less entertaining than the recreational resume provided.