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Did candidate Peddy pad resume?
Claims of a college degree by mayoral candidate Will Peddy were inaccurate, his campaign manager admitted this week, after the candidates resume was questioned by a local online news site.
The Bainbridge Buzz, an online community news site published by Cathy Nickum and supported by local sponsors, disputed Peddys claim that he earned a degree in biology from the University of California at Davis. Peddys campaign has since retracted the claim and issued an amended resume document.
In the initial resume he crafted for his campaign, Peddy, the citys code enforcement officer, listed Bachelor Degree Biology under an educational background listing. He also made the claim of a college degree to another area newspaper during a candidate interview, according to reports published this week.
Peddy told Buzz writers on numerous occasions that he had earned a degree at UC-Davis, Nickum said.
The Buzz called the universitys registration office and found no record of Peddy, according to Nickum.
Confronted with the discrepancy, Peddy again reasserted that he had graduated, Nickum said.
However, his campaign manager issued a new resume Tuesday evening, deleting reference to a degree. The new resume now refers to U.S. military service and real-life work experience as the functional equivalent of an undergraduate degree.
Peddy did not return repeated requests by the Review for comment, but campaign manager Jim Olsen said the Peddy resumes reference to a bachelors degree was in fact, (an) erroneous statement, and in a subsequent interview referred to it as a typo.
The Buzz also challenged Peddy on a number of other items on his resume, including his claim that he was Director of the Building and Planning Department for the City of Colville in 1980 during a two-year work stint.
Calls to the Colville city clerk determined that the city did not have a planning director at that time, according to the Buzz. The clerks office also stated Peddy worked only 11 months for the city, and not two years as his resume claimed.
Olsen did not challenge the Buzzs investigation into Peddys work in Colville, but issued a lengthy rebuttal against other published assertions.
Olsen said the Buzz egregiously distorts facts and attempts to pass fiction or political agenda...as fact. He also said a pattern of distortion (is) being waged by Nickum for the purpose of slandering a Bainbridge Island mayoral candidate and influencing the outcome of the election.
On Wednesday, the Peddy campaign threatened legal action against both the Buzz and the Bainbridge Island Review newspaper. Nickum also writes a general-interest column for the Review, but conducted her investigation into Peddys resume independently.
FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED. That wasnt a story. You delude yourself. Political hack, Olsen wrote, in a Sept. 15 email to Nickum and to the Review.
But after reviewing the Peddy campaigns rebuttal, Nickum said she stands by the Buzzs story, and posted Peddys original resume online for the record.
We also have a lawyer, so were ready, she said.
Nickum said she and Buzz contributor Althea Paulsons initial investigations into Peddys past were sparked by comments he made about a structural engineering job he had with the City of Fresno despite having no engineering degree.
Nickum said personal meetings with Peddy and other citizens comments about the candidate also sparked suspicion.
Some of the things he was saying just didnt add up, she said.
Additional questions about Peddys experience came to light after the Buzzs story. On Friday morning, the Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council called the Review to refute the claim on Peddys resume that he had been affiliated with that organization.
Ive never heard of this man, KRCC Executive Director Mary McClure said. Im keenly aware of how the island participates, and I dont want the KRCC listed inappropriately. This is alarming.
City Administrator Mary Jo Briggs said this week that the city will investigate whether Peddy used false information on his resume with the city.
He has been employed for the past eight years in the planning department.
In a written commentary Olsen posted to the Buzz site late in the week, and which was subsequently removed by the editors, Olsen called Briggs a hypocrite and made vague allegations of improprieties by Mayor Darlene Kordonowy and other city officials.
Wait until the next IED (improvised explosive device METAPHORICAL ONLY for those who think it is a threat) hits Mayor K on issues of other very funny business she and senior staff have been up to, Olsen wrote.
Kordonowy was out of the office Friday and could not be reached for comment.
Nickum said she believes Peddys four days of silence on the resume issue needs to come to an end.
Olsens doing all the speaking and we need to hear from the candidate, she said. As a voter, I think truthfulness is pretty high on the qualification list for the mayor of our town. Peddy needs to come clean with the public.