The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is Sunrise(Florida) City Commissioner David Rosen. He gets the award for the following.
Sunrise · City Commissioner Donald Rosen will not face prosecution on charges he falsely claimed a college degree.
The Palm Beach State Attorney's Office released a memo Friday saying while Rosen could not prove he earned a degree, prosecutors could not prove he didn't.
The decision punctuates a tortuous two years in which Rosen has gradually shrunk from his steadfast claim that he earned a bachelor's degree from Queens College in New York. It appears unlikely that the development will immediately, if ever, restore Rosen's political capital.
"The fact that the State Attorney's Office has declined to prosecute him doesn't mean there wasn't a wrong committed," said Sunrise Mayor Steven Feren. "Commissioner Rosen is essentially known among his peers as the commissioner who lied about having a college degree. In six years of being an official, that's his legacy."
Rosen could not be reached for comment despite two telephone messages left Friday.
Under Florida law, a person who falsely claims an academic degree may be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. The Broward State Attorney's Office asked for a special prosecutor to investigate the matter because of a potential conflict of interest: Rosen's daughter, Samantha, is a Broward prosecutor.
In its memo, dated Jan. 29, the Palm Beach State Attorney's Office noted that Rosen removed references to his college degree from campaign literature and the city Web site and that there is no requirement that Sunrise commissioners have a college degree.
Under federal law, Queens College is prohibited from releasing Rosen's college transcript to a third party without his consent or a subpoena, said Ellen Campbell, deputy director of the Family Policy Compliance Office, which administers the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
"You either have a degree or you don't," said John McNamara, president of the city's labor union for firefighters, which supported Rosen's campaigns in 2001 and 2005.
Another lying politician who then obstructs a proper investigation by not allowing his college transcripts to be turned over. Sunrise City Commissioner David Rosen escaped justice but he can't escape being today's Knucklehead of the Day.
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