Debate over Carlson’s resume continues

The Rev. Bob Carlson
The Rev. Bob Carlson
Posted Aug. 07, 2012, at 6:05 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 07, 2012, at 7:31 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — There is no official record that the Rev. Robert Carlson “ever took a class” through the New York Theological Seminary but it appears he did earn a degree, seminary President Dale Irvin said Monday.

A Master of Professional Studies diploma in Carlson’s name from New York Theological Seminary is included in the heavily redacted 104-page Maine State Police report released last week that incriminates him as a serial child sex abuser.

Carlson committed suicide in November shortly after learning he was under investigation by state police for alleged child sexual abuse involving a boy.

The eight-month investigation revealed that Carlson sexually abused numerous children.

The Bangor Daily News published a story in January about Carlson’s work and educational background, and at that time Irvin said the New York seminary did not have any records that a Robert T. Carlson was ever enrolled there.

That is still true, but in the time since the story ran, additional information has surfaced, including a graduation program from 1986 that lists Carlson’s name, the seminary president said this week.

Irvin said a former administrator apparently set up an affiliation with Bangor Theological Seminary and it appears the diploma was issued through that partnership.

“He’s got a legitimate degree, but I can’t tell you anything about the program,” Irvin said. “I don’t have his name in any student records here.”

Keith Russell was president of New York Theological Seminary in the mid-1980s and remains employed, but “he doesn’t have any memory of [the partnership program with Bangor]” and doesn’t remember signing the diploma, Irvin said.

“I’m in no position to say it was fraudulent, … but it is irregular,” Irvin added.

A resume Carlson submitted to the Maine Criminal Justice Academy, where he was a volunteer instructor for more than 25 years, apparently contained incorrect information.

On the resume, which was provided to the BDN by John Rogers, the academy’s director, Carlson listed himself as a “trainer hostage negotiator” for the New York Police Department in 1972, but police officials in the Big Apple said he was never an employee.

A background check was not done when he started at the police academy in Maine because “at the time, he was a captain at the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office,” Rogers said.

Carlson taught Interpersonal Communications and the last time he was in front of a class of Maine Criminal Justice Academy cadets was on Nov. 3, 2011, just 10 days before he jumped to his death from the Penobscot Narrows Bridge.

Recommend this article

SEE COMMENTS →

ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business
ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business