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OXNARD | West Ventura County Focus

UCLA Fails to Prove Herrera Got a Degree

October 23, 1996|JEFF McDONALD

UCLA officials said Tuesday they have no record of Oxnard City Councilman Andres Herrera earning a baccalaureate degree, as his campaign literature claims.

Officials at the registrar's office said records show no Andres Herrera registered for classes at the Los Angeles university.

But they did identify an Andrew Herrera with the same birth date who was enrolled in political science classes at the university between September 1964 and December 1967.

"He doesn't have a degree, Mr. Herrera," said Mannie Rezende, a registrar's assistant. "He was enrolled from September 1964 to December 1967. He went to reenter in 1968, but he didn't file a study list."

Herrera, an incumbent facing reelection Nov. 5, said he has been under the impression that he completed the course work required for a bachelor's degree in linguistics. Herrera was a defensive back for the Bruins football team in the mid-60s.

He said he attended classes at UCLA under the name Andres Herrera from 1964 to 1969, earning enough credits to qualify for the degree in linguistics. Thousands of campaign brochures say the councilman graduated from UCLA.

"This is the first I've heard of it," he said. "I don't know what's going on."

Herrera played down the issue, saying it was not relevant to the campaign or Oxnard city business. "I personally think it's a nonissue," he said.

Candidate John C. Zaragoza, one of five challengers for the two seats, raised the issue and said it is one of honesty among elected officials.

"Integrity means a lot," he said. "Here we have a councilperson making policy for our city, it's important we have honesty."

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