Date:June 24, June 27, July 22, Sept. 1 and Sept. 11, 2012
Ann Lewis assumed leadership of a financially troubled charter school based in part on what looked like a stellar academic background. She claimed to have a PhD in organizational leadership, and she was always identified as "Dr. Lewis." We received a tip from a source connected to the school who doubted the authenticity of her doctoral degree. Over the course of two months, we meticulously unraveled the web of misinformation Lewis used to dissuade us from questioning her degree. Ultimately, we learned that we she purchased her degree from a disreputable website. Among other outcomes, our work prompted the state to start verifying the credentials of employees before they could be posted to a public web page. After we discovered her fake degree, further investigation revealed the state suspected her of helping her husband, a teacher at the a school, commit pension fraud. Lewis was eventually fired from her position as school leader.