Clout: FOP retreats on Oh endorsement

Posted: August 24, 2011

DAVID OH'S political woes continue to accumulate as the local Fraternal Order of Police lodge voted yesterday to rescind its endorsement of his City Council candidacy after learning that he fudged his military resume.

Oh has been apologizing for days to Army Special Forces members while complaining about the Daily News, which first reported the details Friday, and accusing unnamed political opponents of plotting against him.

Oh had been considered a Republican front-runner this year for a Council at-large seat.

FOP President John McNesby said that Oh may be a nice guy but that the FOP membership frowns upon embellishment of a military record. "I think we're going to be the first of many," McNesby said, predicting that Oh would lose other endorsements.

Oh faced a difficult conversation with the fiercely inquisitive Special Forces members on the website of the "Special Operations Community Network" Monday and yesterday, offering his second apology in as many days.

"First of all, I truly am very sorry for my offenses," Oh posted on the website while admitting that he misled people. "There probably have been more than I am aware of but I did not appreciate the lines I was crossing.

Oh, who did not respond to requests for comment yesterday, offered to destroy campaign materials and to be more clear about his military service in the future.

The Daily News found several examples in Oh's current campaign and two attempts for a Council seat in 2003 and 2007 in which he called himself a Special Forces Officer or Green Beret.

An invitation Oh circulated for a fundraiser two weeks ago at the Union League says: "David served in Operation Desert Storm as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Special Forces."

Oh was assigned to the 20th Special Forces Group of the Maryland Army National Guard in 1991 when it was called to active duty. He failed to complete Special Forces training during that time and was not deployed to Iraq.

Oh promised to pay for two full-page ads in the Daily News with an apology to Special Forces members, veterans and voters for "my lack of attention to detail when the knowledge was in my possession and the carelessness was to my advantage."

And he promised to return campaign contributions and endorsements from unhappy supporters.

"I would not want to win this election with a cloud that I gained votes or money through deceit or vagueness," Oh said.

Staff writer Catherine Lucey contributed to this report.


Have tips or suggestions? Call Chris Brennan at 215-854-5973 or e-mail brennac@phillynews.com.

Check out the Clout blog at: www.phillyclout.com and follow on Twitter @ChrisBrennanDN.

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