Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) is facing criticism following an investigation by a news outlet in his home state that claims he ― much like Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) ― embellished parts of his résumé.
The probe by Nashville’s WTVF-TV found that Ogles, who was sworn into office last month, has a background “filled with exaggerations,” such as his claim on his congressional website that he’s an economist and “studied policy and economics.”
There is little evidence to back up such a claim, according to the TV station, and his alma mater, Middle Tennessee State University, declined to confirm the nature of his degree from there.
A look back at Ogles’ website over two decades ago shows a claim that he studied foreign policy and the Constitution at Middle Tennessee State University and Western Kentucky University.
Western Kentucky told WTVF that Ogles majored in English and allied language arts in the 1990s.
Ogles’ résumé from two years following his graduation from Middle Tennessee State University in 2007 mentioned that he got a degree in international relations with minors in psychology and English, the TV station reported.
Ogles’ inconsistencies between his website biographies and his résumés aren’t the only questionable parts of his past.
Ogles also claimed he held a role as an “executive director” for author and economist Arthur Laffer’s supply-side economics center, however, Laffer told Insider that Ogles primarily worked in fundraising.
“I didn’t know he had that title. The titles aren’t really important for the office. We all clean the dishes,” said Laffer, who added that an economist is someone who works in economics and that Ph.D.s aren’t a requirement to be called an economist.
The Republican also said he was a former member of law enforcement. In one debate, he said he’d worked in fighting international sex crimes, specifically child trafficking.
Ogles, however, was a volunteer reserve sheriff’s deputy in the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office and lost the role after two years “for not meeting minimum standards, making no progress in field training and failure to attend required meetings,” according to WTVF.
The spokesperson for the sheriff’s office told the station that Ogles’ training or personnel file doesn’t show any involvement in international sex trafficking.
The news outlet reported that those connected to the anti-human trafficking nonprofit Abolition International, where he worked in 2011, dispute how he has referred to his role.
Ogles served as chief operating officer, a part-time role at the nonprofit, and told Washington Watch that he “didn’t really intend to set out to be so heavily involved in the fight against human trafficking.”
A press secretary for Ogles did not respond to a request for comment from WTVF.
Ogles’ spokesperson responded to Insider following a subsequent report on the Republican and referred to the site’s story as “another attempt by the liberal media to make something out of nothing.”
“It’s a simple case of condensing a resume for the sake of brevity on the campaign trail, and partisan hacks are trying to turn it into a headline for clicks,” the spokesperson said in an email.
HuffPost has reached out to Ogles’ office via email for additional comment.