Washington City Council candidate Joy Langley lost the election. Langley was accused of lying about her Cornell degree.

November 20, 2017

Washington City Council Candidate, Accused of Lying About Cornell Degree, Loses Election

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Having faced controversy from opponents and supporters over the verity of her Cornell degree, Mercer Island City Council candidate Joy Langley has lost the position to her competitor Tom Acker.

After initial results of the election had been posted on Nov. 7, Langley was losing by around 7 percent to Acker. By Nov. 17, as more ballots were counted, this gap had risen to around 11 percent.

Acker said on his website on Nov. 10 that he received an email from Langley congratulating him. Acker added that he wanted to “extend [his] sincere appreciation for [Langley’s] personal commitment to the community,” according to his website.

Even prior to election night, Langley lost endorsements amid the controversy, from Dan Grausz, a Mercer Island City Councilman, as well as from the Mercer Island Reporter Editorial Board.

“I want nothing more than for Joy to refute what is out there and truly want to believe that she will do so,” Grausz said on Nextdoor.com, a private social network for neighborhoods.

“With only three days to go in this election, however, and having nothing more than the information that has been published, I cannot continue to lend my name and reputation, for what it is worth, to her candidacy based on the assumption that further information is forthcoming,” Grausz continued.

In its retraction of endorsement, the Mercer Island Reporter quoted a letter from Cornell’s Associate University Counsel Valerie Cross Dorn, which stated that Langley refused to provide any specific evidence of her attendance at the University.

“[Langley] was requested to provide the name of her advisor at Cornell, the names of any courses she took, a copy of any Cornell transcript she has … or any other evidence she may have to document her enrollment at Cornell, and she provided none of the requested information,” the letter said.

Further investigation by The Sun also showed that Langley’s name is not in the 2004 Commencement brochure — the year in which Langley claimed she got a degree from the University — for recipients of diplomas from the College of Arts and Sciences.

As of Monday night, Langley removed Cornell University from her LinkedIn page.

Following the news of the election, Cornell’s Media Relations said they “don’t have any additional information to share at this time” on whether the University will continue to investigate Langley’s degree.