Johnson says college degree is not valid

By Dennis Box

The Courier-Herald

Bonney Lake mayoral candidate and City Councilman Neil Johnson faced accusations from fellow candidate Dan Decker that he did not earned a bachelor of arts degree in business administration from North Dakota State University.

Decker raised the charge at the Sept. 13 City Council meeting during the citizen comment period.

Decker read from a letter he said was faxed to him by the registrar's office stating there was no record of Johnson's degree.

During a phone interview, Johnson agreed with the accusation.

"I do not have a valid degree," Johnson said. "I don't have all the paperwork to see what has happened. I'm collecting it right now."

The 40-year-old candidate said he attended classes at both the university and community colleges but did not earn enough credits to receive a degree.

Johnson said he signed with an online firm to complete his degree, paying $3,000. After completing courses online, he said the company told him they would register the degree with the university.

"I will get it resolved," Johnson said. "I have to get this fixed because I thought I finished my education."

Johnson said for legal reasons he has not released the name of the online firm, but intends to release all information regarding the accusation.

"After I have everything collected I will put everything out there," Johnson said.

Dennis Box can be reached at

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