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NC lawmaker’s resume padding could extend to Christian medical group

By Matt Comer
Friday, September 30, 2011
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CHARLOTTE — State Sen. James Forrester (R-Gaston) has been accused of falsifying some of his credentials and memberships on his resume and campaign materials. His resume padding might also extend even to claims of membership with the Christian Medical and Dental Association.

James Forrester

Pam’s House Blend blog contributor Scott Rose broke the news of Forrester’s falsifications on Thursday when he published communications with the American College of Preventive Medicine, an association with which Forrester claims he is a fellow. The executive director of the group confirmed with qnotes that Forrester is not a member or fellow of his group.

“To be a fellow of the society, you have to be a member for a certain amount of time and have contributed to the organization,” ACPM Executive Director Michael Barry said. “Some just think they are fellows just by virtue of being certified.”

Barry said Forrester is, in fact, certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine, but the board and ACPM are independent bodies. Barry also said he has spoken to some of Forrester’s family members who claim the state senator has a board certification form.

Further reports have indicated that Forrester might also be fibbing on his association with the Aerospace Medical Association. Despite claims on his resume, Forrester’s name is not listed on a current list of group’s associate fellows.

Questions now fall on Forrester’s claim of membership in the Christian Medical and Dental Association. He lists his current membership with the organization on his resume at his personal campaign site and at a web page on the Gaston County Republican Party’s website.

Searches of the Christian medical group’s membership database returned no results for the family physician and 10-term state senator. The group’s database includes practicing members who have opted to be listed. A search of doctors within a 100-mile radius of Forrester’s work address yielded no results for Forrester.

qnotes reached out to Forrester for comment and clarification on Friday morning. He was not immediately available at his legislative office in Raleigh, his Stanley, N.C., office or at home. The Christian Medical and Dental Association’s offices are closed on Fridays.

On Thursday, Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt issued a call for Forrester to resign. Equality North Carolina Interim Executive Director Alex Miller said it should come as no surprise the lawmaker misrepresented personal credentials just as he routinely misrepresents facts about the lives of gay and lesbian people.

Forrester made waves earlier this week after appearing on Sirius/XM’s “Michelangelo Signorile Show,” in which he repeatedly refused to answer simple questions about claims he made on the lifespan of gay and lesbian people. The claims had originally been made at a town hall in Gaston County. The claims were later reported without refutation or fact-checking by Gaston Gazette reporter Wade Allen.

Forrester was the lead sponsor of the anti-LGBT constitutional amendment that would ban marriage, civil unions and domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples. The measure was approved by the legislature on Sept. 13 and placed on the May 2012 ballot.

Matt Comer is Editor of QNotes.
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