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Jax Daily Record Monday, Dec. 9, 201312:00 PM EST

Hollingsworth admits lying on resume to CSX

by: Marilyn Young

When Adam Hollingsworth applied to work in the Ed Austin and John Peyton administrations, he checked the "no" box when asked if he had graduated from college.

Sandwiched between those two jobs were stints at CSX Corp. — and a different answer to that question.

Hollingsworth admitted last week that he lied on a resume he submitted to CSX, saying he received his bachelor's degree in 1990.

In fact, he didn't earn that degree until 19 years later.

The Miami Herald-Tampa Bay Times Tallahassee bureau broke the story Friday about Hollingsworth, who is Gov. Rick Scott's chief of staff.

A brief written statement from Hollingsworth called the decision to use false information on his resume a "failure in judgment."

"For many years, I publicly stated that I was a graduate of the University of Alabama," the statement said. "… I am not proud of this and I deeply apologize for this misrepresentation."

The governor immediately defended Hollingsworth, saying, "I have every confidence in Adam as my chief of staff, and my friend."

"I know him to be a man of tremendous integrity and character," Scott added in the written statement. "I know he regrets this and has learned from it."

Both statements were provided to the Daily Record Sunday evening.

In January 1994, Hollingsworth applied to work on the Base Realignment and Closure Commission in Austin's administration. His application said he was a Terry Parker High School graduate, but had not graduated from the University of Alabama, where he majored in public relations.

When Austin did not seek a second term and left office when his term ended in summer 1995, Hollingsworth went to work for CSX.

He worked for the railroad company from May 1995-May 2000 and February 2002-September 2004. (He worked for another private company between his two tenures at CSX.)

In October 2004, Hollingsworth applied again with the City, this time to be Peyton's chief of strategic initiatives. (He later was promoted to Peyton's chief of staff.) Again, Hollingsworth said he had not graduated from the University of Alabama.

Both applications said he attended the university from fall semester 1986-spring 1990.

Applications submitted to the City are subject to Florida's broad public record laws while a resume submitted to a private company is not.

Reached Sunday night by the Daily Record, Hollingsworth said neither Austin nor Peyton knew he had lied about being a college graduate.

He would not answer further questions.

"I have learned from this failure in judgment," Hollingsworth's statement said, "and know that, over the last several years, my life and character have and will continue to grow from this."

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