Commissioner clarifies educational background

Flathead County Interim Commissioner Cal Scott acknowledged this week he does not have a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Nevada-Reno, as was stated in primary election stories in the Daily Inter Lake and Hungry Horse News.

Scott, who is running as a Republican for the remaining two years of Commissioner Jim Dupont’s term in District 1, said he took civil engineering courses for three months in 1963 at the University of Nevada, then dropped out.

Former Inter Lake reporter Shelley Ridenour and Hungry Horse News Editor Richard Hanners both said Scott told them he had a civil engineering degree. 

Ridenour said Scott submitted the information in an email to the Inter Lake, while Hanners said Scott brought up the topic in an interview prior to the primary election. Hanners said he has notes indicating what Scott told him.

Scott, however, denies giving the newspapers wrong information.

“I don’t recall saying that,” he said. “I know I would’ve never said I had a bachelor’s degree; that’s not a term I would’ve used.”

Scott said he took numerous college courses in various locations over 19 years and received several certificates for courses he completed.

He told the Bigfork Eagle on Sept. 11 that he has associate degrees from community colleges, and was quoted as saying, “The fact is, I have several degrees, plural; I attended universities and colleges and they are digging up partial information here and there.”

On Tuesday Scott admitted he has no bachelor or associate degrees from any institution, though he does have 30 years of continuing education in real estate and mortgage lending.

In biographical information gleaned from Scott’s resume for the June primary election, the Inter Lake incorrectly said Scott served on the Montana Board of Realty Regulation. He has been an instructor for that board, and it appears that an ambiguously worded resume led to the error.

“I never said I served on the board. I would have never said that,” he said.

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