The following letter has been fact-checked and found to be inaccurate: Joyce Dudley does indeed have the degrees (and honors) that she claims. Other assertions by the letter-writer have not been fact-checked; however, we recommend that readers consider that the source’s credibility is in doubt. We sincerely apologize for having published this letter without having checked its veracity, especially during campaign season.
The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office dramatically affects many lives each year, and the making or breaking of those lives is often determined by the smallest of facts or the tiniest of inconsistencies in testimony. Attorneys from the DA’s office prosecute individuals and cross-examine witnesses, often intruding into their private lives in their searches for truths, and in turn, to decide who is the right person for the DA job, Voters must necessarily subject all candidates for the job to intense scrutiny. Not to assassinate their characters, but rather to soberly gather all the facts to help make the critical decision who to trust with the awesome powers wielded by the DA.
On September 2, 2009, Joyce Eden Dudley announced her candidacy for the office of DA. Since Ms. Dudley was the first to announce her candidacy, the basic starting point for the Voter in the decision process is to closely examine her educational and professional background. On Ms Dudley’s resumes, provided on www.dudleybook.com and on Facebook, she claims to have earned a BA degree in Psychology from UCSB, with honors, in 1975, and to have gained an MA degree in Educational Administration from UCSB in 1981. However, a physical review of pertinent UCSB Commencement Brochures and Yearbooks available at the UCSB Library indicates the following:
1. An “Allerhand, Joyce-Eden” is listed in the 1975 UCSB Commencement Brochure as having earned a BA in General Psychology in June-August of 1975, but this person is NOT listed as having earned any honors, high honors or highest honors at any time during 1975. (It is assumed that Allerhand is Ms Dudley’s maiden name, and Eden, her current middle name, is possibly one of Ms Dudley’s married names. However, no photos, even as a graduating senior, exist in any available UCSB yearbooks for a Joyce Allerhand, Joyce-Eden Allerhand or Joyce Eden for visual verification.)
2. Ms Dudley (as either Joyce Eden, Joyce Allerhand or Joyce-Eden Allerhand) is NOT listed in the 1981 UCSB Commencement Brochure as having earned an MA degree in Educational Administration. In fact, none of these names, or variations, are listed under any Masters Degree category for the years 1980 through 1982. An “Allerhand, Norma” is listed in the 1981 Commencement Brochure as a Candidate for the degree of BA in Sociology, and also appears in the 1981 UCSB yearbook as a graduating senior. The photograph indicates this person to probably be Ms Dudley’s mother, Norma Allerhand.
3. A degree verification request was made to an internet based service using the current name of Joyce Eden Dudley, the possible then-used name of Joyce Allerhand, and the date of birth as supplied on Ms Dudley’s election Facebook webpage, to verify a 1981 MA in Education from UCSB. Even after double checking with UCSB, the service could NOT verify the earning of that particular degree by that named person.
4. Ms Dudley does NOT appear on the UCSB Alumni’s Notable Alumni lists.
It could very well be that the problems encountered verifying her UCSB attendance, degrees and honors are simply clerical errors, or that Ms. Dudley’s oft-changed name and the sheer number of educational institutions she attended has muddied the record. By her own account she had several failed marriages, attended at least three different high schools, attended five to seven different colleges and universities over four years just for her UCSB BA degree, and she also lists other degrees earned from schools other than UCSB on her resume.
However, to encounter so many inconsistencies in the public record of the first school examined is worrisome. And there may be more: her resume at www.dudleybooks.com has for years listed a 1977 Masters in Education from Antioch University in Keene, NH, and a 1981 MA in Educational Administration from UCSB, but recent newspaper articles refer to a 1978 Masters in Education from Antioch and her election website references a 1981 MA in Administration from UCSB.
Voters need to know if Ms. Dudley has been scrupulously honest in her educational claims because a DA’s position demands scrupulous honesty. If she fudges the facts to fit a narrative on her resume, would she fudge the facts in the courtroom to gain a conviction?
As to her workplace and professional career, Ms Dudley claims to have been a dancer, an actor, a Head Start administrator, a teacher, and a director at a day care center, as well as working in her family’s restaurants starting when she was seven years old, and working with children’s charitable organizations starting when she was 17.
Voters assume that Ms Dudley’s current employer, SB County, carefully verified the claims on her resume at the time she was hired for accuracy and truthfulness, have compared current claims to claims made previously, and have investigated her varied work history for any activities or incidents which might disqualify her from the types of cases she prosecutes.
Voters also assume that the press will demand full disclosure from Ms Dudley since her past is complicated, and that they will probe and test all claims of all candidates, and follow up on any inconsistencies and report the facts back to the voters. For example, Ms Dudley claims a 98% conviction rate on her election Facebook site. However, examination of the public record of just one recent, well-publicized case reveals that out of an initial 18 counts of alleged criminal activity brought by Ms Dudley against one individual, Ms Dudley only secured guilty verdicts in 7 of the 18 counts. Isn’t that a conviction rate of 38.8%? And furthermore, what sort of a claim is that “98% conviction rate”? Does Ms. Dudley claim to be nearly infallible? Or does she claim to be efficient with taxpayers’ money? In either case, a “conviction rate” based upon the actual number of counts brought and the actual verdicts delivered on counts might be a more interesting statistic for voters to weigh in their decision process.
Another example of a claim raising questions is: Ms. Dudley claims to have discovered UCSB “after hitchhiking through Santa Barbara in the early 70s” and then spending quite a few years there earning multiple degrees. However, all available UCSB yearbooks from 1971 through 1983 were searched for photos of Ms. Dudley, and no photos were found (except for the abovementioned photo of Norma Allerhand, assumed to be Ms Dudley’s mother). Voters have obvious questions. How could a mother and daughter attend the same college for years, graduate at the same time in 1981, and only the mother’s photo appear in any yearbook and only the mother’s name appear on the 1981 commencement roll? How could a self-proclaimed dancer, actor, and fierce advocate have been so invisible at UCSB where acting out and getting involved are part of the culture?
It is hoped that all individual voters, members of the press, and county agencies and departments involved in the vetting and/or decision processes for choosing a new DA, will demand full disclosure from all candidates. Ms Dudley can help this process along by filling in all the details on her educational claims, and providing the voters with all the names and locations of all the schools she attended, the dates she attended them, and the name(s) she used during attendance, so that we voters can satisfy ourselves that she qualifies for the position of DA and is worthy of our votes.-Robert L. Johns, Ph.D.