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.