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German Lawmaker Petra Hinz Admits Faking Law Degree on Resume

MAINZ, Germany — A politician who spent 11 years as a member of Germany’s parliament quit Wednesday after admitting that major parts of her resume were fabricated — including the claim that she had a law degree.

Petra Hinz, a member of the center-left party SPD, was first elected into Germany’s parliament in 2005 but had apparently made false claims about her education and work since the 1990s.

Image: Petra Hinz
Petra Hinz in 2013. Sven Hoppe / Sven Hoppe/picture-alliance/dpa/

“In hindsight, Mrs. Hinz is unable to identify which factors caused her to use false information about her school diploma as a basis for further unfounded claims about her legal education and experience,” a statement published on her website read.

In her resume, a version of which was published on the German parliament’s official website, Hinz claimed to have received her "Abitur" — a German secondary school diploma that allows entry to college — in 1984, and then to have studied law until graduating in 1995. However, she never actually received the high school qualifications necessary to enroll in university.

Her office admitted Wednesday that she never studied law or received a university degree and by the afternoon she succumbed to pressure from her own party and resigned.

Reporters in the town of western German town of Essen, which Hinz represented in parliament, first raised questions about her resumed earlier this week when the politician also announced that she would not seek reelection in 2017.