State House candidate accused of lying about record

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AURORA, Colo. -– Aurora Public Schools board member and Colorado State House candidate Eric Nelson is under fire after accusations he lied about his military, criminal and education record.

He is running to succeed Rhonda Fields in House District 42. Fields is running for State Senate.

Fields issued a dramatic statement calling for the resignation of Nelson after the report first broke by Ernest Luning in The Colorado Statesman.

“Impersonating a military officer, violence against women, bigamy, dodging child support payments? This pattern of behavior is deeply concerning to me. ... I call on Eric Nelson to immediately withdraw his candidacy for state representative and to resign his seat on the school board," Fields said.

“This is unprecedented for the Democratic Party,” State Rep. Alec Garnett said.

Garnett, who runs the House Majority Project, a group that works to elect House Democrats, said to his knowledge Democrats have not recently asked a fellow Democrat to leave a race.

Garnett said things got worse after Nelson appears to have forged a diploma in order to prove he attended Northwest Nazarene University. The diploma shows the seal is misspelled.

Allegedly falsified diploma

Eric Nelson's allegedly falsified diploma. Photo: Colorado Statesman

“Mr. Nelson has never been a student at Northwest Nazarene University and the diploma is fraudulent,”  said Edwin Robinson, vice president for academic affairs at the university.

Nelson did not answer his cellphone when sought for comment. He did post a Martin Luther King Jr. quote on his Facebook page.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

“The APS Board of Education recently learned about the allegations regarding Eric Nelson," board chair Amber Drevon said in a statement. "We take this matter seriously.  The board will review all facts and take appropriate action, as needed.”

The school board cannot remove Nelson but it can publicly censure him.