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Former Temple Terrace Mayor Faces Doubled Fine Over Disputed Diploma

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A former Temple Terrace mayor may face a penalty and public reprimand for enhancing her city biography with a degree from a discredited diploma factory. After Mel Jurado agreed to pay a $5,000 fine, the Florida Commission on Ethics has now voted to double it.

Soon after she took on her role as mayor, others started questioning her Ph. D. According to Jurado’s bio, she retained a Psychology doctorate from LaSalle University in Louisiana in 1996, coinciding with the FBI’s closure of the institution and the subsequent imprisonment of its owner. Degrees at the diploma mill went for as low as $2,000.

The seriousness of this case has been a subject of debate.

Last year Hire Image reported a Florida-based scam that sold transcripts to approximately 7,600 individuals, some then used to obtain nursing licenses. Unfortunately, there continues to be cases regarding the use of diploma mills.

These cases continue to stress the importance of thorough background checks, using an accredited firm that has the resources and knowledge to understand when credentials are not what they appear to be.

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