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Monroe says he's ‘moving forward'

A day after a Virginia legislative committee inquired about revoking the college degree obtained by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe, the chief responded with a statement reiterating that he sought no special treatment from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Before a meeting with Steele Creek residents Tuesday, Monroe said he's grown tired of the matter.

“I've tried to be respectful of all the processes that are going on,” he said. “I have a job to do here in Charlotte. People are depending on me to address the crime problems in this community.”

Monroe said the degree didn't make him a police officer. “Not then. Not now,” he said. “I don't wear the degree as a badge. I've done nothing wrong.

“I've never asked anyone to do anything for me that I couldn't do for myself.

“Rodney Monroe is going to move forward.”

The revocation question arose Monday after a Virginia General Assembly investigative panel presented its review of why VCU had awarded Monroe a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies in 2007 – even though he'd earned just six of at least 30 credit hours a transfer student must acquire for a VCU degree. Monroe was police chief in Richmond at the time.

Monroe said he considered the matter closed after a VCU inquiry this summer found that, while his degree was improperly awarded, Monroe had done nothing wrong. He has repeatedly declined to publicly discuss details about his interactions with VCU. He has said only that he spoke with a VCU associate professor about what he needed to obtain his degree and then followed her instructions.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Monroe said: “I can only reiterate what I have previously stated and what has been confirmed by both VCU's internal investigation and the JLARC (Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission) report. I never sought any special treatment from VCU. I complied with all requests made by VCU personnel regarding my qualification and course work. I was unaware that any university rules were modified to grant my degree. The University has repeatedly stated that my degree stands.”

The legislative report noted that Monroe didn't return two calls from a review panel.

VCU has allowed Monroe to keep his degree, saying university policy only allows revocation in instances of academic misconduct. Monroe took only two classes at VCU, but had earned 118 undergraduate hours at other institutions, mainly through the FBI Academy and the online University of Phoenix.

VCU began investigating the issue in May after an anonymous e-mail detailing allegations about Monroe's degree. Several VCU officials have been disciplined in the matter.

Monroe became Charlotte chief in June, and a bachelor's degree was required for the job.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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