Soon after Jack Pelton was named CEO of Cessna, it was revealed that his resume included references to education received from Hamilton University, which 60 Minutes news program discovered was a diploma mill. Neither his undergraduate or graduate degrees in Aerospace Engineering were earned from an accredited school. Temporarily embarrassed by the revelation, Textron released a statement proclaiming that Pelton was chosen for his 30-year-long career in leadership and not for his faked diplomas.
Pelton testified in favor of a property tax increase to build an aviation training facility that would benefit Cessna at an August 9, 2006 Sedgwick County Commission meeting. At a December 12, 2006 meeting of the Wichita City Council, Cessna applied for industrial revenue bonds that include an exemption from paying property tax on property purchased with IRB proceeds.
In March 2008, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius appointed Pelton to lead the Kansas Energy and Environmental Policy Advisory Group.
Textron announced that Jack Pelton retired from Cessna on May 2, 2011, "effective immediately". The aviation news media noted Pelton's hasty retirement. AvWeb Editor-In-Chief Russ Niles questioned "who retires 'effective immediately' at age 52 on a Monday morning when the boss is in town?" and speculated that it was related to a possible demand from Textron for cuts to Cessna after a first-quarter 2011 loss of US $38 million.