Virginia Lawmaker Calls for Investigation Into
Wed September 10, 2008
Virginia Lawmaker Calls for Investigation Into Chief Monroe's Degree
A Virginia lawmaker is calling for a legislative investigation into how Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe was wrongly awarded a degree while he was the police chief in Richmond. Virginia Commonwealth University released a report last week that says there's no evidence that Monroe sought special academic treatment, but that he benefited from others who broke many rules for him. Virginia Delegate Lacey Putney says plenty of questions still remain. He's urging the Virginia General Assembly's investigative panel to take a look at the awarding of the degree. VCU's report says high level staff clearly made 37 special exceptions in granting Monroe a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies in 2007. As a transfer student, the report says Monroe should have earned at least 25 percent of his credit hours from the school. In Monroe's case, he should have earned 30 credit hours from VCU. But he only completed two classes worth six hours. Monroe refused to discuss the topic last night at following a community meeting in Northwest Charlotte. "I'm not going there. I'm not going to address that issue. It's been addressed and I'm not going to continue to go there," Monroe says. The controversy is receiving a lot of attention in Richmond. Here's Michael Paul Williams of the Richmond Times-Dispatch in audio posted on the newspaper's web site. "Monroe is as likable as he was productive, but now with each new revelation about his degree a sizeable chorus says, 'give it back.' Monroe has attempted to take the highroad, saying he sought no special favors or exemptions from V-C-U. But that's not enough, because he clearly benefited from special favors and exemptions," Williams says. Virginia Commonwealth reviewed 15,000 degrees in response to the controversy. That reviewed found that Monroe's degree was the only one wrongly awarded to a student. The report says the school considered revoking Monroe's degree. The school didn't revoke his degree because university policy only allows that action when a student is found guilty of academic misconduct. The report says there is no evidence that Monroe sought special favors. The report doesn't say why he received them. The report also notes that Monroe cooperated with investigators. Monroe started his new job in Charlotte in June. Meanwhile, one dean has resigned and another has been demoted for their roles in helping Monroe get his degree.