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KC mayoral candidate’s website claimed a master’s degree. But he didn’t finish it.

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Until Monday night, Kansas City Councilman Jermaine Reed’s mayoral campaign website touted a master’s degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

But Reed never finished it.

UMKC spokesman John Martellaro confirmed Reed, one of 11 candidates for mayor, was enrolled in the executive master of public administration program from 2013 until 2015, but he didn’t complete the degree requirements.

Asked why his campaign website listed the degree, Reed said in a written statement that he had walked at graduation in 2015 and believed until last week that he had finished the program. Now, his website has been amended to say he “took courses” toward the degree.

“It wasn’t until last week that I remembered having received an email from UMKC faculty in August of 2015 about an incomplete assignment,” Reed said.

Since last week, he said, he has been in touch with the school about completing the degree. He added that he had finished the assignment, which he called a “technicality,” but failed to turn it in.

“I want to be clear on this: there was only one assignment that I mistakenly overlooked,” Reed said.

At the time, Reed was running for his second term on the City Council.

Asked whether he had received a degree certificate or diploma and whether he had inquired about why he had not, Reed said, to his knowledge, he hadn’t.

“Paper certificates and diplomas do not bear much weight to me, thus, I would not have been on the lookout for it, which would be the reason that I never inquired about why I didn’t receive anything,” Reed said.

Reed says he intends to complete the degree as soon as possible.

Reed is running against fellow council members Alissia Canady, Jolie Justus, Quinton Lucas, Scott Taylor and Scott Wagner; transit activist Clay Chastain; Crossroads businessman Phil Glynn; bank branch manager Henry Klein; Vincent “The General” Lee and construction attorney Steve Miller.

The mayoral primary is April 2. The two top vote-getters will move on to a June runoff.

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Allison Kite reports on City Hall and local politics for The Star. She joined the paper in February 2018 and covered Midterm election races on both sides of the state line. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with minors in economics and public policy from the University of Kansas.
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