Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

No charges in phony Pasco diploma case

ZEPHYRHILLS — A woman accused of issuing a worthless high school diploma with an unauthorized signature of Pasco schools superintendent Kurt Browning will not face criminal charges.

"None of the victims of this case at this moment want to press charges," Pasco sheriff's detective Bruce Cohen said.

The family whose daughter received the document from Nina Duffield, whose name appeared on it as principal of CHS Inc. High School, was willing to walk away if Duffield would reimburse them the $1,000 paid for private schooling and a diploma, Cohen said.

"Mrs. Duffield has agreed to do that," he said.

Browning separately said he would not pursue any action against the woman who misused his signature and falsified a district document if she agreed not to do it again.

"Apparently she has given (Cohen) assurances that she won't," Browning said, adding that district lawyers would send a cease and desist letter as well. "I am satisfied that the matter is closed."

If he learns of a repeat, he added, "I'm not going to be as nice the next time."

Cohen said Duffield told him she was "out of the business" of private education and would not issue any more diplomas. She previously had operated Country Home School Inc., which officially had not been in business for several years, according to state records.

Once the family receives its repayment from Duffield, he said, he plans to officially close the investigation.

The situation arose in early March, when Browning contacted the Sheriff's Office after received a copy of a student's diploma from CHS Inc. High School that included his signature and purported to be issued by the county School Board. The county has no such high school.

The student discovered that the diploma carried no weight when attempting to enroll in a culinary arts program at the Art Institute of Tampa. Program officials told her she needed to provide proof of graduation from a "legitimate" school.

No charges in phony Pasco diploma case 04/04/14 [Last modified: Friday, April 4, 2014 3:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. A 10-year-old's overdose death reveals Miami neighborhood's intense struggle with opioids

    Crime

    MIAMI — When 10-year-old Alton Banks left the community swimming pool on the last day of his life, he walked past the elementary school where he had just finished fifth grade.

    People walk through Miami's Overtown neighborhood on Wednesday. [Photo by Scott McIntyre for the Washington Post]
  2. Associated Press: U.S. to ban Americans from traveling to North Korea

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — U.S. officials say the Trump administration will ban American citizens from traveling to North Korea following the death of university student Otto Warmbier who passed away after falling into a coma into a North Korean prison.

    In this Feb. 29, 2016 file photo, American student Otto Warmbier speaks as Warmbier is presented to reporters in Pyongyang, North Korea.  U.S. officials say the Trump administration will ban American citizens from traveling to North Korea following the death of university student Otto Warmbier, who passed away after falling into a coma into a North Korean prison. [AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon]
  3. Iraqi general who planned Mosul attack talks about liberation

    War

    Iraqi Gen. Talib Shegati Alkenani, the head of his nation's commandos and an architect of the plan to recapture Mosul, couldn't be happier during our telephone conversation last week.

  4. Earthquake jolts Greek, Turkish resorts, kills 2, hurts 500

    World

    KOS, Greece — A powerful overnight earthquake shook holiday resorts in Greece and Turkey, injuring nearly 500 people and leaving two tourists dead on the Greek island of Kos, where revelers at a bar were crushed in a building collapse.

    A partially destroyed building is seen after an earthquake on the island of Kos, Greece Friday. A powerful earthquake sent a building crashing down on tourists at a bar on the Greek holiday island of Kos and struck panic on the nearby shores of Turkey early Friday, killing two people and injuring some 200 people. [AP Photo/Nikiforos Pittaras]
  5. Plant High grad indicted in brawl on Delta flight to China

    Crime

    SEATTLE — A Plant High School graduate who fought with flight attendants and other passengers when he tried to open the exit door of a Delta Air Lines flight bound from Seattle to China has been indicted on five federal charges, prosecutors said Thursday.

    Joseph Daniel Hudek IV, 23, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on one count of interfering with the flight crew and four counts of assault on an aircraft. [Facebook]