Melissa Howard's husband released from hospital as credential controversy engulfs her campaign - Florida Politics

Melissa Howard’s husband released from hospital as credential controversy engulfs her campaign

Melissa Howard HD 73

Story updated at 2:17 p.m.

Florida House candidate Melissa Howard’s husband, Ian, suffered a heart attack Friday, sources close to her campaign confirm. The development comes as the Manatee County Republican answers charges she lied about earning a college degree.

Lakewood Ranch Medical Center confirms Ian Howard has since been released from the hospital.

As for the candidate, Howard has shut down her Twitter account and important pictures supposedly verifying her education credentials have been removed from her official Facebook page. And media interest has only grown in an apparently elaborate effort to gloss over whether Howard graduated from Miami University in Ohio.

Anthony Pedicini, a consultant for Howard, originally informed Florida Politics about the health development with the candidate’s spouse. Joe Gruters, chairman of the Republican Party of Sarasota County, confirmed Ian Howard’s health situation. “Ian Howard had a cardiac event last night and is in Lakewood Ranch hospital,” Pedicini said. “Melissa is focused on her family—not fake news this morning.”

Melissa Howard posted this update to Facebook early Saturday morning.

The health scare came as Howard pushed back on accusations she did not ever complete her degree at Miami University despite claiming in her candidate bio she had graduated.

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The relatively new news outlet FlaNewsOnline.com reported earlier this week there was no record of Howard, a candidate in state House District 73, holding a degree from Miami University in Ohio, based on a search of the National Student Clearinghouse.

Howard pushed back on that, and on Friday posted a picture of college transcripts she received from Miami University. “I will ask one more time to stop the negative campaign he is waging, and call on the people bankrolling his campaign to stop the mud slinging,” she wrote. Howard provided pictures that seemed to verify she indeed did graduate from the college, along with a picture taken inside Miami University’s Student Success Services offices.

But some of those pictures have since been taken down from her official Facebook Page, including one that partially showed her college transcripts.

But a letter from Miami University general counsel Robin Parker says that while Howard attended the school from 1990 through 1994, she does not have a degree from the school.

“The picture of the diploma that was posted on the HowardforHouse73 Facebook page does not appear to be an accurate Miami University diploma,” Parker wrote.

The letter also notes a picture Howard posted of her degree online says one official signing the document had a different title at the time the degree was awarded than what appears. It also states the major on the diploma was not one offered at the time Howard would have graduated.

The same letter notes it allows students shy of completing a degree to walk at graduation.

Howard has been in a tight Republican primary against Sarasota attorney Tommy Gregory. After the initial story ran on FlaNewsOnline, Gregory issued a statement referencing the original news article but distancing his campaign from accusations.

“Instead of providing evidence refuting the direct questions raised in the story, Ms. Howard chose to pivot and attack the Gregory campaign for lying about her record,” he said in the statement. “On the contrary, however, the Tommy Gregory campaign has made no statement of any kind related to the article, and while Ms. Howard may have some explaining to do, we will leave that to her, the media, and the voters of District 73.”

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

55 Comments

  1. “””Heart Attack””” Oh weezie, I’m comin’….

    Straight from the Trump playbook. She sits on a house of lies.

    1. Seriously, you must be confused with the Killery Rodham Clinton school of lies, deceipt, and corruption. If this woman is sitting on a house of lies (not looking good for her!), then Killery and her Democratic cronies have perpetrated a mountain of connivance and treasonous actions the U.S. political establishment had never before seen in our history. Comparatively, Trump is doing great things for our country…
      MAGA!!

      1. You DO understand that Clinton isn’t running, right Mr. Howard? Must be a Republican to excuse a lying dirt bag with a “well what about”.

      2. Whatabout, whatabout!! Try to focus!
        The Clintons have been investigated ad nauseum for years, by people who were looking hard! What was found? Nothing!!
        What has Trump done for you? He’s done nothing good. He gave a huge tax windfall to himself & the 1%…better save those dollars you got, if you got any, because gas prices, health insurance are up and more increases are coming because of his stupid trade gaffs…alienated our allies; emboldened our enemies; got played in NK; exacerbates fear, hate and division; “executive-ordered” the good President Obama did. Don’t talk to me about low unemployment, GDP or stock market! Trump’s coattailing on Obama for that. He’ll ruin it soon and the Dems will have to pick up the pieces again.

      3. Wow the Kool aid is extra strong in this one. Did you graduate from Trump University? That actually happened.

      4. Yep, everything wrong Republicans do is really about the Clintons or Obama. Check. Red herring!

      5. Yes, James. Tell it like it isn’t! What’s up is down, what’s in is out, what’s right is wrong and what’s hate is love! Tell me again what great things Herr Trump has done for our country? Or, by “our country” do you me Russia?

      6. This has nothing to do with Hillary….let’s just address the facts James…and if you’re so convinced that the current Russian regime is doing great things for our country, you might want to decide which country that is….

      1. Is that all you got? Just the one? (The one Obama owned up to, BTW)

        Trump tweets a half dozen bigger lies on the toilet most mornings. #trash

    2. It’s a Florida thing. People move down here, claim all kinds of past experience and education. Always a big crash when they are found out. I worked for a television station in Fort Myers. Their competitor hired a sports reporter who claimed to have played professional baseball, and been a sports commentator for years in a northern city. All false. It’s a Florida thing. Why those of us who’ve lived here a while don’t buy everything they’re selling.

    3. This is really a non-story. What makes it one is that someone actually did their homework for a change ! Good Job – If she is tied to Grueters then – well – good chance she is tied to smoke and mirror. Cheesy smiles and “fake news” it is all your fault quips and wooo…. the progressive train roles ! Way to go RPOF – you have buried an institution that could actually make a difference. As a matter of fact – this type of behavior goes way back as evidenced here. https://nomomrniceguy.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/an-open-letter-to-republican-party-of-florida-vice-chairman-mr.pdf

    4. Document trump lies. Economy improvement? GDP increase? Employment numbers for minorities and overall? We’ll start there.

  2. Resign immediately. What kind of person crafts a story like this, flying to Ohio to get a diploma that doesn’t exist, and making a fake diploma pic for FB? I’m sure the DSM V has a diagnosis to fit this type of disturbing behavior. Wow.

  3. If Anthony Pedicini used Trump’s beloved Fake News accusation before the University’s General counsel confirmed that the diploma is fake (if he did it after, he’s not very smart and terrible at his job), he must embarrassed. I would be if I accused the media of lying then their claims were confirmed by someone who would know the truth.

  4. Anthony Pedicini, a consultant for Howard, originally informed Florida Politics about the health development with the candidate’s spouse. Joe Gruters, chairman of the Republican Party of Sarasota County, confirmed Ian Howard’s health situation. “Ian Howard had a cardiac event last night and is in Lakewood Ranch hospital,” Pedicini said. “Melissa is focused on her family—not fake news this morning.”

    **Not reports of her confirmed fake news this morning**

    1. ‘”fake news” = “any news that accurately shows the moral character of a republican”.

  5. It looks like she did attend the school, but didn’t graduate. Why couldn’t she just say that? Making a fake diploma… wow — that is seriously dishonest. She should withdraw from the race immediately.

    1. Agree with you Jeff. There was no need to lie about graduating and the diploma. She could have said she attended Ohio University for four years. That was true and confirmed. She lost a lot of votes with the lie.

  6. Anthony Pedicini, a consultant for Howard, originally informed Florida Politics about the health development with the candidate’s spouse. Joe Gruters, chairman of the Republican Party of Sarasota County, confirmed Ian Howard’s health situation. “Ian Howard had a cardiac event last night and is in Lakewood Ranch hospital,” Pedicini said. “Melissa is focused on her family—not fake news this morning.”

    **–not reports of her confirmed fake news this morning**

  7. She doesn’t come across as simply dishonest. She comes across as a feckless, diabolical, morally bankrupt psychopath with a big splash of plain old crazy.

    But that’s just my opinion.

    1. Then she uses a pic or her cuddling her man. Nothing is sacred anymore! She doubled down on lies and the reliance of her stupid constituents sup[porting her no matter what. (like they do #fatnixon) She even made it put that he would be in the hospital for a long time, and the article is that he was released. You can’t make this up!

      1. Not to mention he had a cardiac event, cardiac arrest, heart attack depending on the article you read. How stupid is she? She replaced one fake picture with a second one? If you’ve had a heart attack or a cardiac arrest, you don’t look like that the next morning. Where’s the ICU, where’s the monitoring equipment? Where’s the oxygen? He might have an IV which would have been placed immediately, but it doesn’t appear to be attached to anything. Oh he went to the hospital, and we can’t know the diagnosis,
        but I’m sure he had chest pain, (“We have to kill this fake story about your diploma”).

  8. Her documents are about as real as the Steele dossier, Obama’s US birth certificate, or a Democratic Voter Registration applicant.

    1. Oh, no, a birther! Are you being sarcastic? Hard to tell nowadays.
      Did you read the Fusion testimony and the Dossier? If you did and you follow the real news, you would know that most of the dossier has been vetted and much of it has been proven. Steele had no horse in the race. He’s a Brit. He was paid by the DNC after the original Fusion client bowed out. Why does it seem odd that he should get paid for his work?
      Are you implying that Dems vote illegally? The little voter fraud investigation Kobach chaired found zippedy do da and they were really looking!

  9. Lmao “He has been at the hospital all night and we are not leaving anytime soon…”

    Later the same day “Husband released from hospital.”

  10. She’s a Republican,she’ll be in good company with “I didn’t see NOTHING Jordan and the candidate from Russia.

  11. time for the turn around two-step. blame hillary, obama or some democrat. anyone but the graduate-less, dishonest, almost graduated liar.

  12. Typical Trumpster. Lie. Then lie some more to cover first lie. Then blame someone else for lying. See a pattern here?

  13. Whatabout, whatabout!! Try to focus!
    The Clintons have been investigated ad nauseum for years, by people who were looking hard! What was found? Nothing!!
    What has Trump done for you? He’s done nothing good. He gave a huge tax windfall to himself & the 1%…better save those dollars you got, if you got any, because gas prices, health insurance are up and more increases are coming because of his stupid trade gaffs…alienated our allies; emboldened our enemies; got played in NK; exacerbates fear, hate and division; “executive-ordered” the good President Obama did. Don’t talk to me about low unemployment, GDP or stock market! Trump’s coattailing on Obama for that. He’ll ruin it soon and the Dems will have to pick up the pieces again.

  14. Im not defending this woman but how in the hell did she get a fake diploma so fast. And have it framed ?

    1. She probably faked it years ago for her family to hang up on the wall so it didn’t seem like she wasted 4 years at a university.

      Probably deceiving her family as well… why her hubby had a “cardiac event”.

    2. You can get one easily online. It’s expensive, but if you have lots of campaign donations from trusting voters it’s nbd

  15. This is really a non-story. What makes it one is that someone actually did their homework for a change ! Good Job – If she is tied to Grueters then – well – good chance she is tied to smoke and mirror. Cheesy smiles and “fake news” it is all your fault quips and wooo…. the progressive train roles ! Way to go RPOF – you have buried an institution that could actually make a difference. As a matter of fact – this type of behavior goes way back as evidenced here. https://nomomrniceguy.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/an-open-letter-to-republican-party-of-florida-vice-chairman-mr.pdf

  16. …….Joe Gruters, chairman of the Republican Party of Sarasota County, confirmed Ian Howard’s health situation. “Ian Howard had a cardiac event last night and is in Lakewood Ranch hospital,” Pedicini said. “Melissa is focused on her family—not fake news this morning.” …..

    Who says “CARDIAC EVENT” – and not a heart attack – really? No one talks like that except when it crap from the wrong side of the mouth. He went there alright….because she needed a smoke screen. So Gruters tried to lay it on thick – by saying – “Melissa is focused on her family—not fake news this morning.” ….. Fake news yeah – You are not quite the king maker you thought Joe Joe. Lack of character only ends in bad things happening. Watch out for falling rocks !

    1. Has anyone told her, that smile is crooked as her moral compass? She may have morals, but neither one applies here.

  17. Jeez. Nobody writes in correct grammar any longer! So let me suggest a more grammatically correct statement:

    “Melissa is focused on her family—not fake news this morning…that is not on factual news about fake diplomas.”

  18. I WOULD JUST LIIKE TO SAY I AM HAVING A VERY HARD TIME SOME TIMES KNOWING WHICH COMMENTS ARE BEING REPLIED TO. IT WOULD HELP IF THERE WOULD BE ARROWS SHOWING WHICH COMMENT A SUBSEQUENT COMMENT IS IN REFERENCE TO. SOMETIMES IT’S OBVIOUS. OTHER TIMES NOT. THANKS.

  19. My ex husband did the same. When divorcing, he said he graduated from Penn State with a culinary degree. He never stepped foot in the school. Karma. Every where he went, they fired him. College degrees are the hardest to background check. Keep that in mind.

  20. My former husband did the same. Said he graduated from Penn State and never stepped foot into the school. Karma. He was fired from every work place! Keep in mind college degrees are the hardest to background check!

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