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Candidate accuses opponent of fake degree

By Tracey Leong, tleong@krcrtv.com
Published On: May 13 2014 02:50:51 AM CDT
Updated On: May 13 2014 02:58:27 AM CDT
COTTONWOOD, Calif. -

Tehama County Superintendent candidate Harley North is accusing opponent Charles Allen of falsifying his education documents.

North said Tehama County Deputy Superintendent Charles Allen lied about earning a master’s degree from Chico State University in educational leadership.

“Things we should hold sacred is the degrees and the attainments that we gain, if you’re lying or falsifying documents stating you have a master's when you don’t, that calls that into question seriously,” said North.

However, Allen admits that he didn’t earn a master’s degree but the equivalent to it.

“As far as the courses at Chico State, I completed the courses at Chico State; it was a duel program with administrators’ credentials and master's. I think equivalency is decided by the place that hires you and that’s the department of education,” said Allen.

But North said it’s not the same. He argues that Allen should not claim to have a master’s degree on his resume even if Superintendent Larry Champion said he has the equivalent.

“He can’t award a masters degree, you have to go through a university that does that. For an educator to claim they have a master's when they don’t, in my opinion is more egregious than if someone in the non education world does,” said North.

In the job description for Allen’s current position, it states “equivalent to graduation from an accredited college or university with a master’s degree in school administration” and Allen said this is all that should matter.

“The first word is equivalent, and who determines that, the department of education does,” said Allen.

When North was questioned why he is revealing these findings now, he responded that he just found out himself.

“Taxpayers have a right to know that, and they can choose if that reflects poorly on me or Charles then that’s up to them,” said North.

Allen said they both agreed to run a clean campaign, but is questioning why North decided to make these accusations so close to Election Day.

“Three weeks until the election and now stuff is being questioned it seems very political to me honestly,” said Allen.

The election for Tehama County Superintendent is June 3, 2014. Allen said he turned in all his documents and credentials to the Department of Education Human Resources Department, and there were never any concerns.