Aurora School Board Member, House Candidate, Appears to be Spectacular Con Artist

UPDATE #3: Nelson for Colorado responds directly in the comments below….

—–

UPDATE #2: Rep. Rhonda Fields, who holds the HD-42 seat Eric Nelson is running for, calls for him to withdraw from the race and resign from the Aurora school board:

“Impersonating a military officer, violence against women, bigamy, dodging child support payments? This pattern of behavior is deeply disturbing to me, it’s unacceptable in a leader, it goes against everything Democrats stand for, and I believe the people of Aurora and the state of Colorado deserve better. Therefore, I call on Eric Nelson to immediately withdraw his candidacy for state representative and to resign his seat on the school board.”

—–

UPDATE: The “you know what” is hitting the proverbial fan in Aurora:

Meanwhile, Nelson’s Democratic Primary opponent in HD-42 — Dominique Jackson — is speaking out and taking the high road.

—–

While you were tucked all snug in your bed last evening, Ernest Luning of the Colorado Statesman was breaking a story that is so bizarre you’d be forgiven if you thought it was a fairy tale. Eric Nelson, a member of the Aurora School Board and a Democratic candidate for House District 42 (Aurora), is one hell of a con man:

This is Eric Nelson. As far as anyone else knows, anyway.

This is Eric Nelson. Or a man who calls himself Eric Nelson.

A member of the Aurora Public School Board and Democratic state House candidate who describes his occupation as “Life Visionary” appears to have taken his knack for self-invention to extreme heights, an investigation by The Colorado Statesman has revealed. [Pols emphasis]Eric Durane Nelson, 38, one of two Aurora Democrats in a primary for the House District 42 seat, was rebuked by the state Division of Insurance for lying about his criminal background — including domestic violence arrests spanning a decade — and was denied an application for another insurance license for “failure to demonstrate that you are competent, trustworthy and of good moral character.”

At another time, Nelson was married to two women at the same time, according to court documents.

Based on information uncovered by The Statesman, the organization that works to elect House Democrats on Monday said it is calling on Nelson to withdraw from the race and, in an unprecedented move, will endorse his primary opponent, Dominique Jackson. [Pols emphasis]

The HD 42 seat is currently represented by state Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, who is term-limited and in a primary of her own against state Rep. Su Ryden, D-Aurora, for an open state Senate seat. Republican Mike Donald is running unopposed for the GOP nomination for the heavily Democratic House seat.

You really have to read the entire story yourself — it is an incredible tale of a career criminal and con man who talked his way into a position of being the top-line candidate on the June 28th Primary ballot. Just look at some of these examples:

Although the specifics of his claims have changed over the years, Nelson says he’s earned numerous advanced degrees — as many as seven have shown up on various resumés — including a master’s degree from a university that says he was never enrolled there.

Asked by The Statesman early Monday afternoon why the Northeastern University registrar’s office in Boston said the school had no record of him, Nelson promised to email copies of his diploma and academic records but six hours later hadn’t sent anything.

—–

In earlier versions of his resume, Nelson describes himself as an Air Force veteran and has also been fond of posting photographs of himself on social media in a captain’s uniform, despite having been an active duty member of the service for just eight weeks, according to Department of Defense documents.

The story is not without its victims, unfortunately. Luning writes that Nelson recently talked his way into a job leading a nonprofit called Angel Eyes, claiming to have a Master of Social Work degree. By the time other employees and volunteers realized the lie, he had nearly robbed them blind.

“We were thinking, this couldn’t be happening because he was so slick. But it just snowballed,” said a woman who works at Angel Eyes, a Cherry Creek-based organization that comes to the aid of parents who have lost an infant.

From a political perspective, House Democrats absolutely did the right thing by immediately calling on Nelson to drop out of the race, as well as endorsing a Primary opponent for the first time in the history of the House Majority Project. It is a pretty stark difference between Democrats and Republicans in Colorado in recent years, particularly when it comes to troublesome individual candidates or campaigns.

Republicans often spend days and weeks wringing their hands when bad eggs emerge and legislators make terrible comments without rebuke; they only seem to act when something is so egregious that virtually no member of the public at-large would disagree. The Nelson story is going to leave a lot of confused and angry Democrats — particularly those who endorsed his House candidacy — but this is a band-aid that needs to be pulled quickly.

17 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ModeratusModeratus says:

    This guy sounds like a model Democrat. 🙂

  2. Middle of the Road says:

    I'd hardly go bragging about how the Democrats have handled this. Yes, they have asked him w/draw his candidacy and to step down from the school board. Wow, bravo, considering they also apparently forgot to do the most basic background check on a guy running to be the next State Representative of District 42. 

    Where in God's holy name was the vetting of this guy, from the State Dem Party or the House Majority Project?

    Ernest Luning (a damn fine reporter) can find all this out but the Party whose banner Nelson is running under for state office couldn't? 

    • marklane1351 says:

      Well if he was not armed when he was beating women Justice Thomas thinks he should be allowed to own a gun. Justice Thomas is a hard right conservative. Maybe Moderatus and Middle of the Road should do some thinking here.

  3. cpolind says:

    He'll switch parties and in a few years the Colorado GOP will be grooming him for the US Senate race because he's got "the look".
     

  4. ohwilleke says:

    Con man and politician, alas, involve pretty much the same skill set.

  5. nelsonforcolorado says:

    Hello Supporters,

     

    Ladies and gentleman, it appears that besides all of the devastating news in our country, I'm the highlight of today. So in regards to it, I prepared a statement. On Tuesday, several media outlets posted various articles on their sites directed to the voters of House District 42 that repeated many of the false accusations we have heard over the last few years.  I am writing today in response to these attacks and ask for your help in fighting back against these smear tactics.  They obviously think that votes will be swayed by feeding the voters of HD42 negative, false information. But before I go into it, I'm mindful of a quote by Dr. King that states, "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. Ladies and gentleman this is that time of challenge and controversy.

    I want to thank my wife, family and all supporters for standing with me through it all.

    The Medias characterization of me as a man is inappropriate and inconsistent with the facts. Premature name calling, like career criminal, and con artist, prior to receiving all the facts, including my response is not consistent with journalistic ethics. Channel 7 News reporter, stated that, he was tipped off on incidents that happened in my past and wanted to help; which is why I agreed to do an interview. As a young man I did make some mistakes but I am wiser now, I've learned some life lessons and it is my hope, and has become a part of my mission in life that through my experience to somehow help others to avoid such situations.

    In regards to my marriages of the past, it was an administrative matter in the Georgia court system that I thought was handled.

    Channel 7 News stated that there's no record that I taught at CU Denver." On my resume, it states that I was a past professor. I taught Ethnic Studies Courses through CU Succeed on a contractual basis at CU Denver titled as an Instructor/Lecture from 2011 to 2013 I have personally contacted CU Denver and asked that they release information and verify this to any interested parties, or I can provide documentation as such. 

    The photograph of me in uniform is from my past. My service record speaks for itself. At no time have I posed in uniform inappropriately during my campaign for the school board nor for house district 42.

    Despite the claim of seven degrees, I did in fact earn all the degrees that are in question and graduated from the institutions that were accredited at the time. I was not given a specific time-frame from the reporter to send over any documentation. Although I have not signed a student release form of records, mandated by federal law, otherwise known as FERPA, copies of my credentials have been forwarded to the requested parties.

    In regards to the New Mexico allegation, as soon as I was informed of the matter of a returned check, I quickly resolved the matter.

    All of the allegations stated in the various articles are matters of the past and a part of the public record that are legally resolved. There are no current criminal charges, inquires or investigations. Therefore, there has been no false pretense or misrepresentations of me to the public. Furthermore, to ask for a resignation or withdrawal is overstepping legal boundaries of the qualifications for an elected public office. Whereas, in addition to other members of the board, I’m elected to ensure that teachers are being treated fairly and students are learning. Overall in establishing policy that ensures the success of accelerating every students learning, every teacher and administrators growth and development, every staff members' comfort in the district and being a good steward of tax payer dollars and being responsive to our stake holders. I am fulfilling my duties.

    Despite the allegations to the contrary, I am current on all legally mandated child support payments.

    I have spoken to reporters and some of the people who have made statements.

    I have also received an overwhelming amount of phone calls, and text messages of support, prayers and encouragement. As a man that you've known for many years, I would ask for your continued support to stand with me during this misrepresentation of facts in the media in my life. As I continue to advocate and fight for the rights of all people, criminal justice reform (in an era of mass incarceration and over representation), education, equal rights for women, veterans and my community that's undeserved, I need your vote as the representative that has your best interest and not one who is controlled by the political machines.

    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. As a man of faith, quitting is simply not allowed.

    I find it very interesting and slightly hypocritical that persons who are on record because of their Christian, political and personal experience, advocate for persons to have a second chance, including persons incarcerated in the criminal justice system are passing judgment on me, not for present circumstances but past issues highlighted in a biased manner by the media. So I raise the question, do I not deserve a second chance in life like many others before me? Are my positive contributions and life's work to society, politically and to community in vain? I think not! I will continue to fight for the citizens in my community and the needs thereof!

    Over the years, I have served on various boards and non-profit organizations which have helped veterans, youth and citizens reshape their lives, reach their goals, and make successful transitions into community life through innovative programs. I am a firm believer that your past does not dictate your future, but it prepares you for what is to come. Whereas, I believe there is greatness in everyone, and in the possibilities of achieving the impossible, and I have proven to be an example of the same. My service, support, and commitment to our community needs, have been proven, and are solid. So, I ask the voters to vote on their conscious, in faith!

     

     

    Thank you for your support!

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      Got  course numbers for your adjunct faculty UCD history? Because UCD has  very complete archived online course catalogs going back to 2009.

      Based on your spelling and word choice ("conscious" for "conscience", or "dismayed" instead of "dissuaded", for example), I might have some concerns about your misteaching college students.

      I know a little bit about charming con men who work in public service. They can certainly have great resumes, and excellent connections. They also tend to get quite hostile when questioned or asked to provide bona fides.

      I recommend that you do yourself and your family a favor and withdraw from the race. This is not likely to get better for you.

      I wouldn't care except that I have family members residing in District 42.

    • Pseudonymous says:

      Dr. Nelson,

      Like you, I greatly value education.  That's why I noted this story and take the allegations that you've "doctored" your resume with the same seriousness you show here.

      If someone were interested in getting information on graduates from the, now-defunct, Southeastern University in Washington D.C. to help you prove your bona fides, they might start by contacting Graduate School USA, the custodian of those records.

      I also want to acknowledge your grit.  It appears you were able to achieve what I expect nobody else did while attending your university during the period from 2000 to 2007, when your LinkedIn profile indicates you were in school– attaining a Ph.D at an institution that does not appear to have offered them.  Many people find it impossible to achieve a doctoral degree, even when it is offered as an option by their university.  Well done!

      2000 Catalog
      2001-03 Catalog
      2005-2007 Catalog
      2002 List of Degrees Offered
      2004 List of Degrees Offered
      2005 List of Business Management Degrees Offered
      2007 List of Business Management Degrees Offered
      2007 Department Brochure Showing Degree Offerings

       

    • cpolind says:

      If you're going to make up your educational credentials so you can make a living feeding at the political trough, it might be a good investment to order a degree from an actual diploma mill so at least it looks legitimate when you email it to an investigative reporter. Small price to pay, isn't it?

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Just wondering . . . 

      . . . what's the name of your big, scary dog ??

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      ummmm… by your logic nobody is guilty of anything they aren't doing right now this minute. If I shot somebody last month that's all in the past, water under the bridge, nothing to see here. And pay no attention to what I just typed. That was seconds ago… in the past. So the past is like a lock box or something?

      The wonder is you got your local Dems to buy all that stuff you made up. Shame on them more than you.

      By the time anyone reads this it will no longer be, as it were, operational. Just another irrelevant relic of the past. 

  6. Half Glass FullHalf Glass Full says:

    After reviewing Mr. Nelson's response, he has no business being either a school board member or a Colorado General Assembly representative. My responses to his screed are in all caps:

    Hello Supporters,
     
    Ladies and gentleman, GENTLEMAN?

    it appears that besides YOU MUST MEAN DESPITE

    all of the devastating news in our country, I'm the highlight of today. So in regards to it, I prepared a statement. On Tuesday, several media outlets posted various articles on their sites directed to the voters of House District 42 that repeated many of the false accusations NO, THE ACCUSATIONS ARE ALL TRUE … AND WHAT FOLLOWS ARE YOUR PITIFUL ATTEMPTS TO RESPOND TO THEM

    we have heard over the last few years.  I am writing today in response to these attacks and ask for your help in fighting back against these smear tactics.  They obviously think that votes will be swayed by feeding the voters of HD42 negative, false information. But before I go into it, I'm mindful of a quote by Dr. King YEAH, BECAUSE LET'S USE MARTIN LUTHER KING TO TRY TO DEFLECT ACCUSATIONS OF GARDEN-VARIETY ETHICAL LAPSES

    that states, "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. Ladies and gentleman GENTLEMAN?

    this is that time of challenge and controversy.
    I want to thank my wife, family and all supporters for standing with me through it all.
    The Medias MEDIA'S

    characterization of me as a man is inappropriate and inconsistent with the facts. Premature name calling, like career criminal, and con artist, prior to receiving all the facts, including my response is not consistent with journalistic ethics. Channel 7 News reporter, stated that, POOR GRAMMAR

    he was tipped off on incidents that happened in my past and wanted to help; which is why I agreed to do an interview. As a young man I did make some mistakes but I am wiser now OH COME ON, YOUR POSING IN AN AIR FORCE MAJOR'S UNIFORM CLEARLY WASN'T SOMETHING YOU DID AS A KID

    , I've learned some life lessons and it is my hope, and has become a part of my mission in life that through my experience to somehow help others to avoid such situations. AGAIN, SHOCKINGLY POOR GRAMMAR FOR A SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER

    In regards to my marriages of the past, it was an administrative matter in the Georgia court system that I thought was handled. SO YOU ADMIT THAT YOU WERE MARRIED TO TWO DIFFERENT WOMEN AT THE SAME TIME. THIS IS HARDLY A "FALSE ACCUSATION"

    Channel 7 News stated that there's no record that I taught at CU Denver." On my resume, it states that I was a past professor. I taught Ethnic Studies Courses through CU Succeed on a contractual basis at CU Denver titled as an Instructor/Lecture from 2011 to 2013 I have personally contacted CU Denver and asked that they release information and verify this to any interested parties, or I can provide documentation as such. AT A MINIMUM THIS IS BLATANT RESUME PADDING IF NOT OUT-AND-OUT FABRICATION, AND IT DOESN'T ADDRESS ALL THE OTHER PROBLEMS IDENTIFIED WITH HIS ACADEMIC RECORD

     
    The photograph of me in uniform is from my past. My service record speaks for itself. At no time have I posed in uniform inappropriately during my campaign for the school board nor for house district 42. NO, BUT YOU "STOLE VALOR" INAPPROPRIATELY IN THE NOT VERY DISTANT PAST. YOU CLEARLY TRIED TO PRETEND YOU WERE AN AIR FORCE MAJOR WHEN YOU WEREN'T.

    Despite the claim of seven degrees, I did in fact earn all the degrees that are in question and graduated from the institutions that were accredited at the time. I was not given a specific time-frame from the reporter to send over any documentation. Although I have not signed a student release form of records, mandated by federal law, otherwise known as FERPA, copies of my credentials have been forwarded to the requested parties. HUH? IT SOUNDS AS IF THE REPORTERS HAVEN'T RECEIVED YOUR RESPONSES, AND YOU HAVEN'T RESPONDED TO THE SCHOOL STATEMENTS THAT THEY HAVE NO RECORD OF YOUR ATTENDING, AND THAT THE DIPLOMA FROM ONE OF YOUR SO-CALLED SCHOOLS IS OBVIOUSLY A BLATANT FORGERY

    In regards to the New Mexico allegation, as soon as I was informed of the matter of a returned check, I quickly resolved the matter.

    All of the allegations stated in the various articles are matters of the past and a part of the public record that are legally resolved. SO THEY AREN'T FALSE, BUT ACCORDING TO YOU, THEY'VE BEEN RESOLVED. 

    There are no current criminal charges, inquires or investigations. NOTE THE WORD "CURRENT"

    Therefore, there has been no false pretense or misrepresentations of me to the public. Furthermore, to ask for a resignation or withdrawal is overstepping legal boundaries of the qualifications for an elected public office. WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? YOU CAN RESIGN ANY TIME YOU DAMN WELL FEEL LIKE IT. ASK SARAH PALIN!

    Whereas, in addition to other members of the board, I’m elected to ensure that teachers are being treated fairly and students are learning. POOR GRAMMAR

    Overall in establishing policy that ensures the success of accelerating every students learning, every teacher and administrators growth and development, every staff members' comfort in the district and being a good steward of tax payer dollars and being responsive to our stake holders. ATROCIOUS GRAMMAR

    I am fulfilling my duties.
    Despite the allegations to the contrary, I am current on all legally mandated child support payments.

    I have spoken to reporters and some of the people who have made statements.
    I have also received an overwhelming amount of phone calls, and text messages of support, prayers and encouragement. As a man that you've known for many years, I would ask for your continued support to stand with me during this misrepresentation of facts in the media in my life. NO MISREPRESENTATION, AS NOTED ABOVE

    As I continue to advocate and fight for the rights of all people, criminal justice reform (in an era of mass incarceration and over representation), education, equal rights for women, veterans and my community that's undeserved, HUH? AGAIN, ATROCIOUS GRAMMAR

     I need your vote as the representative that has your best interest and not one who is controlled by the political machines. OH, FOR PETE'S SAKE! YOU'RE A CROOK AND IMMORAL, PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

    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. As a man of faith, quitting is simply not allowed. UM, EXCUSE ME, BUT MANY PEOPLE OF FAITH HAVE DONE THE HONORABLE THING AND RESIGNED, ASKING FOR FORGIVENESS, WHEN THEY HAVE HAD MORAL SHORTCOMINGS.

    I find it very interesting and slightly hypocritical that persons who are on record because of their Christian, political and personal experience, advocate for persons to have a second chance, including persons incarcerated in the criminal justice system are passing judgment on me, not for present circumstances but past issues highlighted in a biased manner by the media. WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? YOU HAVE SEVEN CLAIMED DIPLOMAS THAT NO ONE CAN VERIFY. YOU POSED AS A MAJOR IN THE AIR FORCE WHEN YOU WEREN'T! YOUR RESUME IS TOTALLY FRAUDULENT!

    So I raise the question, do I not deserve a second chance in life like many others before me? YOU ARE SEEKING HIGH OFFICE – WE DON'T WANT TO GIVE YOU A CHANCE WITH OUR CHILDREN AND LIVES. YOU CAN HAVE ALL THE SECOND CHANCES YOU WANT IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

    Are my positive contributions and life's work to society, politically and to community in vain? I think not! I will continue to fight for the citizens in my community and the needs thereof! GREAT, YOU DO THAT: JUST NOT AS AN ELECTED POLITICIAN CHOSEN UNDER FALSE PRETENSES.

    Over the years, I have served on various boards and non-profit organizations which have helped veterans, youth and citizens reshape their lives, reach their goals, and make successful transitions into community life through innovative programs. I am a firm believer that your past does not dictate your future, but it prepares you for what is to come. IF YOU HAD COME CLEAN WITH ALL YOUR MISDEEDS IN THE PAST INCLUDING YOUR POSING AS A MAJOR IN THE AIR FORCE WHEN YOU WEREN'T, THAT WOULD BE DIFFERENT. BUT YOU CONTINUED HIDING UNTIL YOU WERE EXPOSED.

    Whereas, I believe there is greatness in everyone, and in the possibilities of achieving the impossible, and I have proven to be an example of the same. SENTENCE FRAGMENT

    My service, support, and commitment to our community needs, have been proven, and are solid. So, I ask the voters to vote on their conscious CONSCIENCE,

    in faith!
     
     
    Thank you for your support!
     

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      Half Glass, you feel better now? I'll have a stack of essays you can go through, if you need to blow off steam next semester.wink

      Mr. Nelson probably has other strengths. At a guess, he's got great interpersonal intelligence – he would need it to charm people into putting him on Boards, hiring him, and believing his stories. He's probably a good salesman. 

      Many people don't write coherently,  often because they have dyslexia or other disabilities, yet are very successful in public office. They have one other thing this clown apparently doesn't have – a literate friend willing to proofread their stuff before they present it to the public.

Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account


You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.