DES MOINES, Iowa -- An Iowa lawmaker is defending himself after making national news for beefing up his resume. Republican State Senator Mark Chelgren of Ottumwa grabbed national headlines this week when it was revealed that the "business degree" listed on his biography page on a state website was actually a certificate he earned as a restaurant manager.
Senator Chelgren claimed that he got a "business degree" from the "Forbco Management School," but Senator Chelgren's alleged alma mater is actually a company that used to operate a Sizzler steakhouse franchise in Southern California (Torrance). It turns out the lawmaker does not have a degree at all.
Channel 13 News caught up with Senator Chelgren today at the Iowa State Capitol to ask him about the controversy. "I graduated from Forbco Management School, which was required for me to get promoted for my business or for Forbco Incorporated. It was put on my bio as a degree, when I guess it should have been a certificate, so think it’s relatively trivial," said Senator Chelgren.
When Channel 13 asked Senator Chelgren if he put it on his bio that way, Senator Chelgren replied, "No, but I did approve it." When Channel 13 replied by asking, "And why did you? Was that misleading?" Senator Chelgren said, "I didn’t think so. Thanks.”
“This was a management course he took when he worked for Sizzler, kind of like Hamburger University at McDonald’s,” Ed Failor Jr., chief of staff for the Iowa Senate majority leader, told NBC News. “He got a certificate.”
The reference to Forbco Management is no longer listed on Chelgren's biography.