TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. (WFLA) – Temple Terrace Mayor Melody Jurado came to office with an impressive resume that included a P.h.D. in Psychology. But after 8 on your side started asking questions about that degree, a state board launched its own investigation.
The advocate for the Florida Ethics Commission has issued a finding saying the mayor directed city staff to publish a bio that claimed Jurado has a P.h.D. from the University of Illinois then changed the bio to list a P.h.D. from Lasalle University in Louisiana.
The problem is Lasalle University was raided by the F.B.I. in 1996 and later found to be nothing more than a diploma mill turning out degrees that had no accreditation.
The Florida Department of Health issued a cease and desist order to Jurado directing her to stop claiming she is a Psychologist.
The Department of Health’s letter says Jurado was describing herself as an “Industrial-organizational Psychologist”
According to the Department of Health records, Jurado is not a licensed psychologist in the state of Florida.
The former head of the Temple Terrace Democrats Amina Spahic told Steve Andrews, she thinks the mayor misled the public
“I understand she may have been a victim of some university that presented itself as legitimate, but the FBI raided that school in ’96, I believe, so at that point you should understand that it [the Ph.D.] is void.”
The mayor has the right to present a full evidentiary hearing in front of the ethics board to appeal the ruling.
Her attorney did not respond to a phone call to reply if they would take that action. Jurado faces action that could lead to censure, all the way up to removal from office.