Candidate has identity problem

June 03, 1994|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Sun Staff Writer

Deboul Jayson Kim, who also calls himself Jay Kim, wants to represent Towson in the Maryland House of Delegates. But he has a problem.

The young resident of Towson's plush Penthouse condominium, who portrays himself as a conservative Republican, has trouble telling the truth about himself.

First, he said in his campaign material that he was a student on leave from the Johns Hopkins University medical school. He even supplied a reporter with a Social Security number to prove it. The number, it turned out, does belong to a man named Kim who is a Hopkins medical student. But it's not Jay Kim.

Mary Foy, assistant dean and registrar of the medical school, said Jay Kim has never been a medical student at Hopkins, although the Kim whose Social Security number he used is a student in good standing.

"This guy's a total fraud," Ms. Foy said, adding that the bona fide student doesn't know Jay Kim.

Confronted yesterday with his use of someone else's Social Security number, Jay Kim admitted he deliberately supplied false information.

At first, he said the number belonged to his brother. A few seconds later he said it belonged to a fraternity brother, not a relative, but he would not identify the fraternity.

Mrs. Foy said she believes Jay Kim got the Social Security number "by devious means," but would not elaborate.

Jay Kim said his youth and inexperience led him to provide a false Social Security number because he was afraid to admit that his news release, which said he is "on leave from an M.D. program at Johns Hopkins," was not true.

"I got so scared," he said.

Jay Kim, who registered as a Republican in Baltimore County on Dec. 27, also said in a May 9 announcement of candidacy that he got his undergraduate degree in biophysics from Hopkins in 1991. This, too, appears to be untrue.

University registrar Hedy Schaedel said the closest name she could find to Mr. Kim's was that of a Deboul D. Kim who transferred to Hopkins in fall 1991 and left in spring 1993 without graduating.

Jay Kim said he is not Deboul D. Kim, but there are striking similarities between them.

First, the one-time Hopkins undergraduate, Deboul D. Kim of La Crecenta, Calif., has a birth date of Nov. 17, 1973, according to Hopkins records. Those records were drawn from Deboul D. Kim's high school transcript. Because he would not be 21 before the November election, Deboul D. Kim would not be eligible to run for the House under Maryland law.

On his voter registration form, Jay Kim listed his birth date as Nov. 17, 1972 -- exactly one year earlier. That would make Jay Kim eligible to run for office.

According to Hopkins records, Deboul D. Kim transferred to the school after attending Boston University and Georgetown University. Eric Hanson, a California friend of Jay Kim's who helped organize a fund-raiser for him in April, said yesterday that Jay Kim did attend both those schools.

Meanwhile, the Motor Vehicle Administration issued a driver's license to a man named Deboul Dong Hee Kim, whose address and apartment number are the same as Jay Kim's, and who has the same birth date that Jay Kim claims -- Nov. 17, 1972.

Jay Kim told a reporter that doesn't own a car, but according to the MVA, a 1986 BMW sedan is registered to Deboul Dong Hee Kim at the same address.

Yesterday, Jay Kim told a somewhat different story, saying that he graduated this spring as a Hopkins liberal arts major and is awaiting his diploma in the mail. However, Ms. Schaedel said that there is no Deboul or Jayson among the Kims graduating this spring.

There is also a question about Jay Kim's political background. Kent Patton, a staff aide to California Republican congressman Robert Dornan, said he met Jay Kim in early 1994 when both worked for Democrat Rep. Xavier Becerra. Mr. Becerra's staff confirmed that.

When asked about it yesterday, Jay Kim initially denied working for Mr. Becerra, a liberal from Los Angeles. Then he admitted that he had worked for Mr. Becerra, but didn't want it known because he is portraying himself as a conservative Republican who advocates "Singapore-style caning" in the United States.

Mr. Patton has been helping Mr. Kim organize a campaign and accompanied him home to Pasadena, Calif., in late April for a political fund-raiser organized by his family that raised more than $30,000.

Jay Kim said yesterday that he was leaving for California immediately.

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