News

Video shows account of Romero's education that differs with facts

A few seconds from a video of a candidates forum in the 2008 election for City Council in East Palo Alto shows then-candidate Carlos Romero, now a candidate in the June 5 election for San Mateo County supervisor, saying that he has degrees from Stanford and Harvard that he does not have.

In the video, Romero is seen saying, "I have a degree in economics from Stanford in urban planning and an advanced environmental design degree from Harvard."

In responding to an Almanac request for biographical information from all the candidates running for the District 4 seat, a district that includes much of Menlo Park, Romero described his education as follows (semi-colons added):

"Stanford University, International Relations and Economics; Loeb Fellow, Harvard University, Graduate School of Design-Urban Planning/finance; Fannie Mae Fellow, Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government"

The Almanac subsequently erred in describing Romero as having a bachelor's degree from Stanford.

In an interview to ask Romero to clarify the facts around his period at Stanford, he said he does not have an undergraduate degree from Stanford. He spent four and a half years there, but said he left lacking the credits for a degree so he could pursue his work in urban development in communities of color, particularly East Palo Alto.

In another interview subsequent to the discovery of his assertions on the video of having degrees to his credit, Romero acknowledged the statements as mistakes by "a neophyte candidate." He repeatedly noted that his current campaign materials do not make such assertions.

"Obviously, the video certainly states what I said," Romero said, noting that he heard the audio of the forum but has not seen the video. "I think it's unfortunate that that was stated in that forum. ... Being a first time candidate at that time, this is not an excuse."

Go to tinyurl.com/Romero-123 or tinyurl.com/Romero-124 to approximately the 16-minute mark to see the video.

In such forums, where a candidate's time at the microphone is measured in seconds, he said he was trying "to hone and refine the message and the amount of time it takes you to deliver the message."

"I would definitely consider it a mistake, one I must certainly own up to," he said. "I consider it an unintentional mistake."

His lack of an undergraduate degree has not been a stumbling block to pursuing graduate-level work, he said. He completed two fellowships at Harvard University, one to which he was invited and the other for which he applied and was accepted, he said.

As a Fannie Mae Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, he studied housing policy, and as a Loeb Fellow, he worked on urban policy, including applying it to affordable housing, he said.

His two fellowships -- which Harvard has confirmed -- resulted in certificates. Asked why he described his accomplishments at Harvard as degrees in the 2008 forum, Romero replied: "I don't know about the interchangeability of that. I don't believe it was purposely misleading."

Does he plan to stay in the race? "Yes, categorically, absolutely," he said. "I have no intention of not completing this race. I stand by my accomplishments professionally, politically and legislatively."

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 1, 2012 at 10:22 am

Mistakes of a "neophyte candidate"? Oh, that's a relief. I thought for a minute he was a compulsive liar.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by carlos fan
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 1, 2012 at 10:23 am

He is sharper, more experienced, and more qualified than most on the present BOS


 +   Like this comment
Posted by TA
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 1, 2012 at 10:42 am

Very funny..


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Arch Conservative
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 1, 2012 at 11:00 am

At least he is off to a good, solid start in politics.
In private industry, he would be fired, or asked to resign, "because of wanting to spend more time with the family."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 1, 2012 at 11:03 am

Carlos Fan, you left out better liar. That's all this is, a phony resume and someone cheating his way through life. He certainly wasn't bright or quick enough to know he would be outed sooner or later. A certificate is the equivalent of a degree? Come on. He's toast.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2012 at 11:08 am

So...

He went to Stanford and Harvard and, even though he didn't graduate from either institution, he claims that he didn't know that "certificates" for the completion of a couple of short fellowships were not "degrees."

Does that make any sense?

No.

He was simply caught embellishing his life story for public gain or prestige. Is there any proof that he even attended classes at Stanford for 4.5 years? How do you not graduate in 4.5 years? Does he hold ANY real degree (high school, grad school, etc...)?

Honesty and integrity still matter, Mr. Romero.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2012 at 11:11 am

Well, maybe he can get a job at Yahoo. I hear that they are searching for a CEO.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Martin L
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 1, 2012 at 11:16 am

Mistake or omision, Carlos has apologized for it without trying to blame anyone but himself. And to me, this is refreshing in a politician.

Mistake or not, he still is the most capable of the candidates, and the one with the creativity to analize issues and find solutions that benefit the majority, and not only the ineterests of a few; as often is the case with the politicians.

Unlike other candidates, he has given enough proof of his commitment to the common good.
Unlike others in the race, who are ready to desert the jobs they promised to serve when they got elected, he doesn't see this position as just the next step towards a career in politics.

His opposition to a new and costly jail is just one of the ways in which he shows he is not afraid to go against powerful interests, even if it means being less "popular".

Whether you call them degrees, credentials or academic achievements, Carlos Romero has what we need in the leadership of our County.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Arch Conservative
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm

"Mistake or not, he still is the most capable of the candidates, and the one with the creativity to analize issues and find solutions that benefit the majority, and not only the ineterests of a few; as often is the case with the politicians.

Whether you call them degrees, credentials or academic achievements, Carlos Romero has what we need in the leadership of our County."
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
If he is what is needed "in the leadership" of San Mateo County- the residents are in deep trouble. Sacramento and DC have this kind of leadership.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Raymond Lucas
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm

If you don't like him, don't vote for him. There's a novel idea.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Why is The Weekly now posting this, when it was already posted in The Alamanac - the paper which actually covers some of San Mateo County? Putting this story now in The Weekly is very suspect & I've just lost a lot of the respect I had for this publication.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Nayeli. You beat me to it.
People who misrepresent themselves on their resumes haven't got a real good track record of keeping their jobs.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Where's this resume he allegedly misrepresented himself on? Steve, you're really going whole hog on exaggerating.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2012 at 4:02 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Once again, Sharon is misleading.
Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by SSR
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2012 at 4:37 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 1, 2012 at 4:49 pm

What are Romero's continued lies, SSR? It looks like he lied nearly four years ago and someone from a rival campaign dug through old videos to find evidence. Are there problems with continual lies from him in your city?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2012 at 9:49 pm



The SJMN documents Romero's long term lies about his qualifications

"Henry Riggs, co-founder of the group Citizens for Fair and Responsible Pension Reform, said there is mounting evidence that Romero's misrepresentation of his academic resume was "an intentional statement."

"What else did you say ...that was misspoken?" Riggs said. "There's a trust factor in there."

Web Link

This is a very serious matter.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2012 at 11:53 pm


Is the PAW going to interview Romero about this matter?

We need a deep examination of his history

Voters deserve the truth about candidates for public office


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 2, 2012 at 9:16 am

"We"? Sharon doesn't count in that election since it's another county. She's made it clear she doesn't think East Palo Alto is relevant to PAW. The Almanac already did an interview - same publishing group, same family of papers. The voters will decide. Romero's still accomplished a lot of good in his city.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Martin L
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 2, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Thank you, Sharon for being so concerned about us, on the other side of the freeway.

About using some of that overflowing exciment of yours to come over and volunteer at one of the programs serving our area?
I guarantee you, it will make you feel better than ranting in these online forums.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 2, 2012 at 1:42 pm


@ Martin L,

In fact we have given a great deal of money and to health care and education programs in EPA.

In our experience the ROI has been very low when handled by people like Romero and the EPA city council.

From our experience Romero has no place in public life--others may differ-fine

We have seen the best results from money and time we have given to Church related program in EPA aimed at health and education-

-we will continue these donations and encourage all who have the means to support these Church programs.

For example-

-the St Albert's School in PA has provide outstanding opportunities for EPA kids to thrive.

The PA Mormon, Lutheran and Baptist Churches also have very active programs in EPA.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2012 at 5:51 pm

So donating $$ to schools & church programs makes Sharon an expert on EPA politics? Hardly. But, Sharon, it sounds like you walk your talk w/donating toward what you believe in & that's of value. Thank you for caring. I know that it can feel like you don't get the ROI you want - we've all been there - & it sounds like you've found the right programs that you feel good about giving to.

Romero is highly qualified AND is educated. He's helped keep EPA on budget in these hard times, working hard w/the other Council members. He lied 4 years ago. Now he's paying the price- but that doesn't change his abilities, experience & accomplishments in the public sector. I'm grateful for what he's done for the community.

I have to also say that whenever I read that someone's CV reads "studied at ______" or "educated at ____________" I never think that they've obtained a degree unless the degree is stated. Many highly competent people lack college degrees. If they lie, it's on them, but that doesn't make them less competent.

I'd like to know what's really gone on behind the scenes - who dug this up? Who're the continual fomenters? That's a story in itself.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 2, 2012 at 9:45 pm



Romero should do the decent thing and retire from politics ASAP

He is a huge embarrassment and liability to his prior supporters

He needs to go--he has lied about his academic qualifications for many years

Just go away


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Concerned Staffer
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 5, 2012 at 11:43 am

I think is quite interesting --Romero always stressed his creditential in Council Meetings. He does not meet his own standard
and cannot be trusted - so sad for him to mislead -but that is not a surprise-- he is not a good leader.


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