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Officials maintain support of Monroe

Charlotte leaders say they're not worried by problems with Rodney Monroe's college degree, and still have confidence in his ability to be police chief.

The mayor, City Council members and city manager say he did nothing wrong and never misled city staff about his credentials. They say he's been doing a good job fighting crime, gaining the confidence of residents and communicating with council.

“I think Rodney Monroe's off to a great start as police chief,” said Mayor Pat McCrory. “The thing I care about is reducing crime.”

A report released this month by Virginia Commonwealth University said that the school's staff gave Monroe “preferential treatment” and improperly awarded him a bachelor's degree. The report placed no blame on Monroe, but focused on a small group of faculty and administrators who pushed the degree through.

Last week, a Virginia legislator asked the investigative arm of Virginia's General Assembly to look at the issue, according to a report in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Several of the eight Charlotte City Council members reached Monday pointed out that Monroe's degree has not been pulled. They said he has been up front with Charlotte about his resume.

“He did not misrepresent what he had,” said Councilman Warren Cooksey. “To me, it always circles back to, does he have a degree? Yeah, he does … . Now let him fight crime.”

One councilman, Warren Turner, was affronted by questions about the degree.

“This witch hunt must stop,” he said. “It's a witch hunt. And I don't care to comment about it.”

Monroe could not be reached for comment Monday. He has said in the past that he believes he earned the degree and sought no special treatment.

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