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By RICHARD FELLINGER
Evening Sun Harrisburg Bureau
A former 20-year veteran of the Chambersburg Police Department faces criminal charges over an online degree listed on his application for a job with the state Gaming Control Board, and has been suspended from his new state job.
Michael Rosenberry, 41, of Harrisburg, was charged Friday with three counts of unsworn falsification to authorities and two counts of false swearing. Investigators from the State Police Gaming Enforcement Office, which does background checks on gaming board employees, filed the charges before District Justice Roy Bridges of Harrisburg.
Rosenberry was suspended without pay Friday from his $64,000-a-year job as an agent in the Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement, according to the gaming board.
The gaming board has not yet determined there is a problem with Rosenberry's application but is still reviewing the matter, board spokesman Nick Hays said.
State police claim Rosenberry listed on his application an online bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration from a now-dissolved college named Stanton University, according to court papers.
He paid $700 for the degree by credit card, received it in 2004 and showed investigators an original transcript and diploma for the degree.
Under questioning, Rosenberry told state police that he never attended one class, never purchased one book and never prepared one paper to earn the degree, court papers state.
"He felt that his 'Life Experience' showed that he earned a degree and the degree was valid," court documents state.
Hays said Rosenberry disclosed to the board that he received the Stanton degree online.
Rosenberry was suspended as a matter of practice when the board learned of the criminal charges, Hays said.
Several reputable officials and groups recommended Rosenberry for the job, Hays said. They include Franklin County District Attorney Jack Nelson and the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association.
Rosenberry, who does not have a listed phone number, could not be reached for comment.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 23 before Bridges.
Each of the five charges is a misdemeanor carrying a maximum jail term of two years.
The Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement handles background checks on the financial strength and integrity of applicants.
Former Pa. cop accused of lying to get gaming control job