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Former Chambersburg officer faces charges

April 26, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A former Chambersburg police officer who took a position with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has been charged by Pennsylvania State Police with making false statements about obtaining a degree from a now-defunct online university.

Michael Ray Rosenberry, 41, of 1030 Canter Court, Harrisburg, Pa., was charged by the state police Gaming Enforcement Office with three counts of unsworn falsifications to authorities and two counts of false swearing, police said. All the charges are either second-degree or third-degree misdemeanors and were filed April 21 with Magisterial District Judge Roy C. Bridges.

"Michael Rosenberry has been suspended without pay by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board pending the resolution of charges filed by the Pennsylvania State Police in connection with his application for employment with the Board," Gaming Control Board Chairman Tad Decker said in a statement issued April 21.

"The Pennsylvania Gaming Control board is committed to maintaining the highest standards of conduct among its employees, so it acted decisively and promptly upon learning of these allegations," Decker said.

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Rosenberry, a corporal, resigned from the Chambersburg Police Department in January, according to the borough's Personnel Department. He was hired in 1987, records state.

Police performed a background investigation on Rosenberry, including a signed and notarized personal history questionnaire he submitted to the gaming control board Dec. 19, which indicated he received a bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration from Stanton University in 2004, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

Rosenberry met with police Jan. 19 and provided them with copies of his degree and college transcripts. Police said Rosenberry told them Stanton University was an online university and the transcript indicated he had taken 40 courses and received grades between 2000 and 2004.

During the interview, police said Rosenberry "agreed it was all correct and he did not wish to make any changes or correct any information," according to the affidavit.

Police attempted to contact Stanton University, but phone numbers on the transcript were not in service and a computer database search listed the university as "Dissolved."

On Feb. 15, Rosenberry was interviewed again by state police, at which time he "stated he paid $700 for the degree in 2004 with his credit card," the affidavit stated. "The defendant admitted he never attended one class through Stanton University, he never purchased one book, he never met with any instructors, and he never prepared one paper," police said.

"He felt that his 'Life Experience' showed that he earned a degree and the degree was valid," the affidavit stated. Police said it took about four days on the Web site for Rosenberry to get the degree.

His annual salary with the gaming board is $64,000.

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