The newly appointed commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles said he doesn't hold a master's degree as he had claimed for about two decades.
Michael Bzdyra told a legislative committee on Thursday he recently learned he's two courses short of earning the degree in public affairs from the University of Connecticut.
The disclosure came in response to a customary question for people nominated for key government positions about whether there's anything in their background that could embarrass them or the governor's office.
“In fact, there is,” he said.
Bzdyra told the legislature's Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee that he was not aware that his master's degree was never awarded fomr UConn.
"This revelation after more than 20 years startled me," Bzdyra said in a statement.
In the statement, Bzdrya said that while gathering information for his nomination for DMV Commissioner, he ordered his transcripts for review from UConn. It was the first time he noticed that his master's degree was not listed.
Rep. Claire Janowski, a committee co-chairwoman, thanked Bzdyra for his candor.
Devon Puglia, a spokesperson for Gov. Malloy, said the office stands by the acting commissioner.
"This an oversight that the acting Commissioner only recently realized, which was immediately disclosed upon discovery. He substantially completed the two-year program – this was an oversight. We absolutely stand by the acting Commissioner," Puglia said.
Bzdyra, of Wallingford, was chosen by the governor this month to lead the troubled DMV.
This is Bzdyra's full statement about the matter:
"When gathering information for my nomination for DMV Commissioner, I ordered my transcripts for review from the University of Connecticut. When looking at them, I reviewed my credits and degrees awarded. I noticed for the first time that my master’s degree was not listed as awarded. I called UConn. I was told that two incompletes, one in 1991 and the other in in 1993 prevented the awarding of the degree. I never knew it had not been awarded. In fact, I am listed in UConn’s 1994 Commencement Ceremony book as getting a master’s degree. I am listed under Master’s of Public Affairs. Pg. 51 in web view and pg. 49 in the book.
This revelation after more than 20 years startled me. I am now in the process of ensuring with UConn that all my credits have been properly accounted in determining the awarding of the degree. If there is a shortfall, I will work at fulfilling the remaining requirements."