COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A freshman state lawmaker in Ohio falsely claimed to have graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to the prestigious university, and he has stepped down from a House committee leadership post after that revelation.
Rep. Dave Dobos, a Columbus-area Republican, attended MIT in the 1970s and 1980 and studied economics but did not receive a degree, MIT’s deputy director of media relations, Sarah McDonnell, told Cleveland.com, which first reported the discrepancy Tuesday.
House Speaker Jason Stephens has since accepted Dobos’ resignation as vice chair of the Higher Education Committee.
“I have known Dave to be a hardworking member for his constituents. This is disappointing news,” Stephens said in a statement.
Dobos had publicly described himself as an MIT graduate, including on his campaign website, as well as in his online biography for the Ohio House. By Tuesday evening, that biography had been changed to say that he “attended” the school.
Dobos has been involved with the MIT Club of Central Ohio, an alumni club of the university, and helped fundraise an MIT reunion, among other activities with the MIT Alumni Association, Cleveland.com reported. His studies at MIT made him eligible for the association, and graduation isn’t a requirement, McDonnell said.
Dobos did not immediately respond to repeated requests for comment, nor did the MIT Club of Central Ohio.
Dobos, who years ago helped govern one of Ohio’s largest school districts as president of the Columbus City Schools Board of Education, had faced scrutiny last fall for not initially disclosing that he had more than $1 million in outstanding debts while he was running for office. State law requires that disclosure, which he made belatedly to an ethics committee.