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Aurora school board member, charged with embellishing background, has no plans to resign

Aurora school board member Eric Nelson in a campaign photo.
Aurora school board member Eric Nelson in a campaign photo.
Nelson For Colorado

Embattled Aurora school board member Eric Nelson, in a statement Wednesday, refuted claims that he misrepresented his education and army background and criminal past. He also said he has no plans to resign from the school board.

“Political attacks will not distract, nor will I be dismayed from championing the issues that my community has locally elected me to do and will do if elected to the state level,” Nelson wrote on his Facebook page. “As a man of faith, quitting is simply not allowed.”

Nelson, a Democrat, is running for a seat in the state House of Representatives. The Colorado Statesman on Tuesday reported that at least one of the institutions Nelson claims to have graduated from has no record of him ever attending.

“I did in fact earn all the degrees that are in question and graduated from the institutions that were accredited at the time,” Nelson said, even even as the Statesman reported copies of diplomas forwarded to the newspaper by Nelson appear to be forgeries. One diploma included the name of a man who never served as the university’s president.

Nelson was elected to the school board in 2013. He said he has fulfilled his obligations and will continue to do so.

Board President Amber Drevon said on Wednesday she’s asked Nelson to verify all the information in his biography published on the school district’s website.

“While the allegations about Nelson’s past are concerning, there is nothing in these allegations that would legally disqualify him from serving as an elected board member,” Drevon said in an emailed statement. “ As such, the board does not have the authority to overturn the decision of our voters who elected Nelson to the school board.”

Several Democrats, including state Rep. Rhonda Fields, who Nelson hopes to replace in the House, have called for Nelson to withdraw from his primary race. Ballots have already been mailed to voters and are due June 28.

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