A freshman Idaho legislator says online information about his education that was posted until recently isn’t true. Republican Rep. Mark Patterson tells The Associated Press a staffer misunderstood the college he attended, and assumed he graduated.
Patterson tells the AP his staffer posted the inaccurate information on Patterson’s Facebook page. That information was then gathered by the Montana non-partisan Project Vote Smart, which tracks elected officials in all 50 states.
Through our legislator demographic posts, we also reported Patterson graduated from the University of Southern California in 1996, information we obtained through Vote Smart. Patterson didn’t return calls made by StateImpact in an attempt to fact check that information.
Here’s more from the AP:
Patterson never attended USC and isn’t an engineer, though he once worked in Wyoming’s oil fields. The 60-year-old Republican says these details were posted without his knowledge by a former campaign staffer. Patterson said he rarely uses the Internet and wasn’t aware of the mistakes until The Associated Press approached him.
“I don’t do Facebook,” said Patterson, who added that he had the errors removed within hours of learning of them. “Had I known that was there, I would have deleted it.”
Patterson, however, said he began but never completed a business course by mail through an obscure correspondence school called Southern California University for Professional Studies. That school changed its name to California Southern University in 2007 and is currently applying for accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Efforts by the AP to contact the school Monday were not immediately successful. – Associated Press
StateImpact Idaho has made several calls and sent emails to Rep. Patterson for further clarification. Those haven’t yet been returned.