It’s always important to carefully examine the words used by a politician, especially when they attempt to explain away dishonesty.
Phil Dumenil, until recently, claimed he had an associate’s degree on both his political website and as his employment website. That claim quickly disappeared from both sites when a document came to light (click here to see that document) indicating that no such degree existed. But the question remains, “how did that claim get published on those sites in the first place?”
Dumenil has now come clean that he never graduated from Anne Arundel Community College as originally claimed and made the following statement as explanation: “There appears to be a mistake on the McCartin Insurance corporate website regarding some inaccurate information in my biography. That bio was composed by staff at the agency who appear to have misinterpreted a biographical questionnaire.”
Mr. Dumenil, other than a few of your closest relatives, no one believes that your degree info was posted on either site as the result of “a mistake” or “misinterpretation”. Would you also have us believe that you never read either of the sites? If that’s the case, your lack of attention to detail would not suit us well if you were to be our county commissioner. An honest man would have immediately corrected erroneous personal information in preference to having public disclosure force the truth.
As to the repeated use of the word “appear(s)” in Dumenil’s explanation – doublespeak does nothing to soften the deceit. It is what it is! Furthermore, to blame this deception on the carelessness of staff is reprehensible. It compounds the transgression by adding another lie to the mix. Dishonesty generally gives birth to additional lies which are told to conceal the initial lie and it appears that this is part of Mr. Duminel’s character.
Years ago, Marion Barry, the mayor of Washington D.C. told a series of lies in an effort to conceal drug use with a prostitute. In a shocking turn of events D.C. residents reelected him. Four years ago, Ben Cassell, one of our own county commissioners, was caught in the same deceit (click here) as Mr. Dumenil’s, claiming to have a college diploma that did not exist. Unlike the citizens of Washington D.C., truthfulness was an essential quality to the citizens of Queen Anne’s County and we promptly voted the dishonest Cassell out of office.
Our county citizens still believe honesty to be an indispensable quality for our county commissioners. It is doubtful that will change with respect to Mr. Dumenil’s deceit.