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GOP lawmakers call for probe of WVU degree scandal

June 07, 2008

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Some Republican lawmakers want a legislative investigation into West Virginia University's improper awarding of a master's degree to Gov. Joe Manchin's daughter, even though university President Mike Garrison has resigned.

But the co-chair of the panel that would handle such a probe dismissed Friday's request as "political grandstanding."

A group of 11 GOP members want the Joint Committee on the Judiciary to investigate whether anyone besides Heather Bresch was awarded what they call "fake degrees."

An independent probe concluded in April that Bresch, a Mylan Inc. executive, did not earn the master's degree. That probe found no evidence that Garrison was involved, but did cite signs that administrators felt pressured by his staff to award it.

The request for an investigation came from Sen. John Yoder, R-Jefferson, and 10 delegates including the House's longest-serving member, John Overington of Berkeley County.

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Delegate Jonathan Miller, R-Berkeley, also joined in the request, and said Democrats have been asked to sign on as well. They've had one taker so far: Delegate Mel Kessler, D-Raleigh.

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