EDITORIAL: Revelations of deception warrant Eric Nelson’s resignation from APS, state House race

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There is no course of action for Aurora Public Schools board member Eric Nelson but to resign immediately from the school board and withdraw his candidacy in the House District 42 Democratic primary election.

News this week revealing a long and consistent pattern of deceit and poorly concealed criminal behavior make clear that he is an unsuitable elected official for any position, but especially for seats on a school board and in the state House of representatives.

As first revealed by a story in the Colorado Statesman, a Denver weekly covering legislative and political news, Nelson lied about having received multiple advanced college degrees he has claimed. Nelson also failed to disclose a substantial criminal record that included charges of domestic violence and other oddities that have tracked him across the region.

In a story by Aurora Sentinel reporter Quincy Snowdon this week, allegations of concealing past criminal charges were first raised in light of a Department of Regulatory Agencies order. That order determined Nelson did not acknowledge his criminal past in filling out an application to become a bail bondsman. The denial claimed Nelson failed “to demonstrate that you are competent, trustworthy and of good moral character, and of good business reputation,” the order read.

Obviously if Nelson is ill-equipped to issue bail bonds, he has no business making policy decisions for the Aurora Public Schools district nor the Colorado Legislature.

When confronted by reporters with the long list of deceits and misrepresentations, Nelson doubled down on his fabrications Tuesday by issuing a photo of a supposed college diploma that not only has the name of the unaffiliated school misspelled — Northwest Nazarene University doesn’t even offer the social work degree he insists he received.

Other than sending the Sentinel a photo of the clearly faked diploma, he had no other explanation nor comment in regards to his behavior.

In addition, Nelson fabricated his association with a prominent African American academic fraternity, Omega Psi Phi. An organization tied to the group issued a statement last year that Nelson was fraudulently claiming to be a member of the group.

Nothing about Nelson’s behavior before the discrepancies  were revealed nor how he handled himself when the allegations came to light suggest Nelson is fit to serve in his current office nor vie for a higher one during the Democratic House district primary.

He must resign from both causes. If he refuses to or simply stands silent, the school board should immediately censure Nelson from the panel. And while state and local Democratic Party officials have clearly condemned Nelson’s behavior and insist he end his candidacy for a seat in the legislature, they must do more. If Nelson does not formally and publicly resign from the House District 42 race, party officials should mail and call district voters to instruct them to disregard his candidacy.