The campaign of Republican congressional candidate Bernie Reeves is suggesting his opponent is lying about earning a master's degree.
William "Bill" Randall, who is facing Reeves in a June 22 runoff for the GOP nomination to challenge incumbent Democrat Rep. Brad Miller in the state's 13th Congressional district, says he earned a master's degree in business administration from National-Louis University, graduating in 2007.
But Reeves' campaign says calls to the Chicago university seeking to confirm Randall's degree were referred to the National Student Clearinghouse, a service used by many institutions provide verification of academic degrees and transcripts.
Wednesday evening, Reeves' campaign provided a copy of e-mailed reply from the clearinghouse saying that Randall had been enrolled at National-Louis, which offers courses over the Internet, from 2004 to 2006, but that he did not earn a degree.
Reached by a reporter, Randall said any suggestion he did not earn an MBA is "ridiculous."
"Our country is in peril, and this is the best Bernie Reeves can come up with," Randall said. "Sad."
When pressed to provide documentation of his MBA, such as showing the reporter his diploma, Randall said he didn't have one.
"I elected not to attend the commencement ceremony," Randall said. "I haven't gotten my diploma yet. But I completed all the requirements to get my degree. I graduated."
As proof, the candidate provided a copy of a May 2007 e-mail that appears to have been sent from an associate registrar at the university indicating Randall needed to pay a $35 fee to receive a copy of his diploma. Randall said he could provide additional documentation by Monday.
"I absolutely completed my degree," Randall said.
A spokeswoman for National-Louis reached by Dome late Wednesday said she could not immediately confirm whether or not Randall earned a degree at the institution. She said a definitive check of the university's records would be completed Thursday.