February 24, 2024
Flint, Michigan Mayor Sheldon Neeley claimed throughout his career to have graduated from college. His alma mater told Fox News Digital that he actually didn't.

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FIRST ON FOX: The Democratic mayor of Flint, Michigan, whose re-election campaign is backed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, lied about graduating from a university. 

Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley claimed throughout his political career to have graduated from Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) with a communications degree. 

This was a lie. SVSU confirmed to Fox News Digital on Tuesday that though Neeley attended the university, he never graduated. 

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Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer backed Flint, Michigan Mayor Sheldon Neeley, who lied about graduating from Saginaw Valley State University. 

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer backed Flint, Michigan Mayor Sheldon Neeley, who lied about graduating from Saginaw Valley State University.  (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Neeley’s office did not respond to Fox News Digital’s questions about his career-spanning lie.

The Whitmer-backed mayor’s collegiate claim has been a major facet of his political career, with his Legistorm account still reflecting the falsehood.

Neeley’s state legislator biography similarly made that the claim he received a bachelors of arts degree in communications. His mayoral biography, on the other hand, says he received “an associate’s degree from Delta Community College and attended Saginaw Valley State University” – but leaves out the false claim about graduating from the university. 

Additionally, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, of which Neeley serves on the executive committee, still contains his claim of graduating with “a bachelor’s degree in communications from Saginaw Valley State University.”

In 1987, while a senator from Delaware, now-President Joe Biden came clean about his inflated academic record.

In 1987, while a senator from Delaware, now-President Joe Biden came clean about his inflated academic record. (Fox News )

The Michigan Association of School Boards also propagated Neeley’s claim on their website and local press have written the claim as fact.

Other organizations also falsely list Neeley as having a bachelor’s degree from SVSU.

Politicians lying and embellishing their personal lives and credentials is by no means new in the political world but can spell disaster for officials caught in their own web.

While being caught lying about their background is a massive ding to a politician’s career, it doesn’t necessarily spell the end of one’s career.

In September 1987, then-Delaware Senator Joe Biden came clean about his academic claims about graduating in the top half of his law school class and getting three degrees from the University of Delaware.

Biden admitted that he only received two degrees from the school after claiming to have gotten three as well as that he was near the bottom of his class in law school.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a protest outside of the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday, May 3, 2022 in Washington. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks during a protest outside of the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday, May 3, 2022 in Washington.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., infamously claimed throughout her career that she was part Native American.

In 2018, amid massive public pressure as she explored a White House run, Warren took a DNA test to see how much Native American blood runs in her veins.

The test found that Warren had very little Native American heritage and ended with the senator apologizing to the Cherokee Nation for taking the DNA test as well as the senator scrubbing the results from her campaign website.

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Neeley first entered politics as a state representative in 2014. He has served as Flint mayor since 2019.

Prior to becoming a state representative, Neeley served on the Flint city council.