A state senator from Ottumwa is rejecting allegations that he inflated his resume.
After inquiries from NBC News, the staff for Senate Republicans have edited Senator Mark Chelgren’s online bio to delete a reference to his “business degree” from a “Management school.” Chelgren, who lives in Ottumwa, is a native of California and, as a young adult, he got a job at a Sizzler restaurant.
“I had to work for six months at the Forbco Management school, taking classes during the day, working in the evening, for me to get my degree in order to advance in their company,” Chelgren said today.
Chelgren spoke with three statehouse reporters late this morning, after an NBC report raised questions about Chelgren’s “alleged alma mater.”
“All I can tell you is that NBC called me, asking about the Republicans’ website because they had some questions about my education,” Chelgren said. “I told them directly that the information that I had given to everyone was accurate, which is when I was 18 years old, I went to work for a company called Forbco Management. I was promoted to associate manager. In order for me to be promoted past that level, I had to go to Forbco Management school, which I attended, passed, got my certificate of completion from Forbco Management school and then I was promoted to assistant manager.”
Chelgren worked for the restaurant chain for two years. Chelgren then got an associate degree in science from Riverside Community College and studied physics at the University of California – Riverside.
“That is exactly what I’ve told people in the past,” Chelgren said. “…I’m kind of perplexed about what the concern or the consternation is.”
Chelgren plans to ask the Senate Republican staff to restore the reference to his completion of that business management course.
“The information for attending Forbco Management school and successfully completing their program is accurate,” Chelgren said.
Chelgren was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2010 and reelected in 2014. Two decades ago, Chelgren started a company in Ottumwa that makes parts for wheelchairs. Chelgren operates two other businesses, including a California company that he recently bought and moved to Iowa.