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Gordon Drops Out of School Board Race

District A candidate Scott Gordon lied about holding a PhD from Virginia Tech.

Scott Gordon is dropping out of the race for Alexandria School Board.

On Monday, Patch revealed that the Del Ray resident and District A candidate on a questionnaire he filled out for the Alexandria Political Action Committee for Education.

In a June 27 conversation with Patch, Gordon said he recently earned a doctorate in Industrial and Organization Psychology from Virginia Tech at a satellite campus in Arlington County.

A representative from Virginia Tech’s Department of Psychology said Monday there is no record of Gordon attending the school. Another representative from Virginia Tech told Patch that the Psychology Department has no offices in Arlington.

Gordon sent Patch the following statement on Wednesday morning:

In response to your recent piece bringing to light a most unfortunate error in judgment on my part, I'd like to offer a narrative from my end.

While it is fair to judge a person based on his or her actions I'd like to also argue that a person's worth cannot always be assessed entirely on the mistakes he has made but should be based more fairly on the historically well-meaning actions of the individual and his or her commitment to public service.

Throughout history, many of our greatest leaders have had their reputations, decisions and moral fiber challenged due to poor decision-making in their personal lives. And while there is rarely a good excuse for these instances, more often than not their commitment to the greater good, their commitment to the people they represent is left unchallenged in the public eye.

In a moment of weakness, perhaps in a feeble attempt to boost my own personal feelings of self-worth, I slightly embellished the most latter parts of my education. Why did I do this? Why does anybody have a lapse in judgment? The sub-conscience is difficult to understand and low self-esteem, competition and the stresses of public life all mixed together may provide for an interesting end result.

Why did Thomas Jefferson father two children out of wedlock?
Why did Barney Frank fix 33 parking tickets for Steve Gobie?
Why did former Pres. Bill Clinton have extramarital affairs while in office?

You see, it's difficult to understand why anybody does anything. What's even more difficult to understand is why someone like me, who knows clearly the difference between right and wrong, would venture to think that the intentional or unintentional fabrication of a qualification is okay.

That being said, the truth has an interesting way of changing when the public begins to give it a life of its own.

I am ashamed that public service in the city has become more about argument, political lines, money and conflicts of interest and has become less about an individual’s desire to serve the greater good.

Regardless of my personal feelings and regardless of my desire to do good, I have challenged any semblance of trust the public may have had in me. In an attempt to begin rebuilding that trust I believe it is my duty to allow others to seek, without any further complications, the seat for which I intended to campaign for.

I have tasted just a very small amount of what it means to be involved in local politics and I am sickened by the experience. I hope this city and its residents can someday act more like a community and less like competing special interest groups. I hope that someday a man's good intentions, his desire to give back, can be held in higher regard than any singular mistake.

I wish all those running to serve on the a ACPS school board the best of luck as November quickly approaches and urge them to put the greater good before their need to highlight any other persons errors.

You know, this started as a misunderstanding and I didn't know how to make it go away. Instead of just saying "no wait, there's a mistake here," I followed through with it. It was a dumb move, but what's done is done.

I hope, with this letter, the press will allow me and my family to move on without continued scrutiny as I am no longer relevant (thankfully).

To quote The British Ministry of Information: "Keep Calm and Carry On."

In March,  as a Republican candidate citing a family illness issue. He also resigned from the Alexandria Republican City Committee in protest of its support of Councilwoman Alicia Hughes. He then endorsed Democrat Sean Holihan.

The Del Ray resident entered the School Board race just before the June 12 deadline to file for candidacy.

Six candidates remain in the field for District A: Bill Campbell, Karen Graf, Stephanie Kapsis, Helen Morris, Joyce Rawlings and Heath Wells. The election is Nov. 6.

For more Patch coverage of the 2012 Election, "like" Del Ray Patch and Old Town Alexandria Patch on Facebook and follow @delraypatch and @alexandriapatch on Twitter.

Tara Sheehan July 11, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Good. He's a dope. He's sickened by the experience? He should be sickened by himself.
Isaac Smith July 11, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Real classy, comparing himself to Jefferson, Clinton, and Barney Frank. Gordon has some serious delusions of grandeur. So glad he's moved on...wonder what office he'll pursue next...I wait with baited breath since an ego like his can't remain quiet for too long.
Slim Charles July 11, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Classic. Rather than one day pursuing a degree in psychology, he should perhaps consider seeking psychological help immediately.
Mandy July 11, 2012 at 04:10 PM
He has GOT to be kidding. I think I find this statement more insulting than his original deception.
Mike Urena July 11, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Incredible.
Meredith Martino July 11, 2012 at 04:47 PM
He hit our car in the spring, admitted fault to my husband's face, told his insurance company that it was my husband's fault and then told me on the phone that he couldn't be sure whose fault it was. Public service does not need this guy in any capacity.
Edgar Warfield July 11, 2012 at 04:50 PM
The statement really speaks for itself. If he is "sickened by the experience" of fellow Alexandrians being shocked that he would grossly exaggerate -- not "slightly embellish" -- his educational characteristics when -- ironically -- he's running to help govern our educational system, then perhaps he should award himself an MD instead of a PhD. As I noted in an earlier comment on this matter, Alexandrians are, I think, a forgiving lot if you come clean, fess up, understand what you did, and ask for another chance. Reading Mr. Gordon's statement, it's still not clear he understands what he did wrong and why so many of his neighbors -- many of whom worked very hard to attain whatever degree of education they've obtained -- are appalled at what he did. "Record of public service" or no, it speaks very poorly of one's character to say you have a PhD when you don't -- especially when lots of us put in a lot of effort to get college, graduate, or professional degrees. It's a slap in the face. I otherwise like Mr. Gordon's ideas and I was, frankly, hoping this was some sort of mistake or less of a baldfaced lie: that either Virginia Tech would acknowledge he is on its rolls or that Mr. Gordon would come out and be able to show he's in a PhD program somewhere, has written his thesis, and is just waiting on a final defense of it -- that would lessen this somewhat. But I just don't think he gets it. Maybe in the future. Regards, E. Warfield
Earline July 11, 2012 at 04:54 PM
The young man is totally delusional; attempting to compare himself and his actions to others show that he may not be redeemable. Obviously, he is "smart" enough to con his way into another position. The vetting processes in the offices held or seeking are obviously not competent.
LG July 11, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Wow. Excuses, much? He could have bowed out gracefully, but poor, persecuted Scott Gordon needs to learn the difference between a "misunderstanding" and a bald-faced material lie. And I thought he said in his last statement that he wanted to take responsibility for his actions. Wow.
Sherrie Good July 11, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Nauseating.
Mark Williams July 11, 2012 at 05:18 PM
So far, 2012 has been pretty tough. Now this. I was counting on Gordon to cheer us all up, even if he did so unintentionally. But at least we all have his self-comparison to two Presidents and a Democratic leader.
Daan Zweers July 11, 2012 at 05:36 PM
"... as I am no longer relevant". There's the heart of the problem. Scott never was relevant - and he knew it.
John Arbuckle July 11, 2012 at 07:06 PM
There is a term for people like this, they are usually referred to as "sociopaths".
Karen Goff July 11, 2012 at 07:49 PM
The Power of the Patch!
Justaskin July 11, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Yes, just a slight embellishment. Sort of like a minor tune-up. By the way, what happened to the photo with the big flag in the background?
McBrinn July 11, 2012 at 08:59 PM
I'm pretty sure I saw him eat AN ENTIRE QUART of custard at Dairy Godmother once. It was like that Seinfeld episode where George is caught on TV scarfing an ice cream cone. I was sure I'd never be able to take him seriously after that.
Debra Phelan July 11, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Totally, Tara. Unbelievable. He's a real piece of work.
Tina Games July 11, 2012 at 09:05 PM
I'm baffled by anyone who throws a "political punch" at someone, then turns around and does something equal to (or worse than) the person they "politically punched." In this case, Scott Gordon threw a very public "political punch" toward Alicia Hughes, then turns around and pulls this stunt. ~ Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. And now, he is asking for this to be considered as a "misunderstanding." Personally, I'm tired of this type of political behavior. It's getting old - and very irritating. ~ If we truly want the "political tone" to change, let's all stick to the issues - rather than engaging in constant personal attacks.
Anonymous July 11, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Did he really use a statement of apology to attack the residents of this city? His arrogance astounds me. All of sudden we're the bad guys? Ms. Martino's comment is a perfect analogy for what happened here. His initial apology was fine and I respected it, but this is two steps backwards. It is not my fault there are problems with this city, but rather, the problems stem from people like Gordon who hold their reputations higher than doing the right thing.
Edgar Warfield July 11, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Substance aside, there's a lot of great prose in Mr. Gordon's statement, and it's malleable enough that you can refashion its more BS-y parts into almost anything. This ol' Democrat has already told Mrs. W that the next time he fouls up (which, on occasion, happens), she is to just read this phrase instead of asking me for an excuse: "In a moment of weakness, perhaps in a feeble attempt to boost my own personal feelings of self-worth, I [whatever I did]. Why did I do this? Why does anybody have a lapse in judgment? The sub-conscience is difficult to understand and low self-esteem, competition and the stresses of public life all mixed together may provide for an interesting end result." Regards, etc., E. Warfield
Jeff McQuilkin July 11, 2012 at 10:09 PM
That's a clown letter, bro.
Drew Hansen (Editor) July 11, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Comments have been suspended on this story due to the amount of posts we've received that contain inappropriate language.

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