ATLANTA, GA (WRDW/WTOC/AP) - The Georgia State Patrol says an entire graduating class of its Trooper School has been fired or resigned amid a cheating scandal.
Georgia Department of Public Safety Commissioner Col. Mark W. McDonough confirmed at a news conference Wednesday that 30 troopers were fired after being accused of cheating on an online exam for the speed detection operator component of the school’s curriculum.
“Disciplinary action was taken this morning against 30 members of the Georgia State Patrol following an investigation by the Office of Professional Standards for the Department of Public Safety,” Col. Mark McDonough from the GSP said. “The disciplinary action was their immediate dismissal from the department. The action follows an investigation that the troopers, all members of the 106th Trooper School, cheated on an online examination for the speed detection operator component of the trooper school curriculum. The investigation found the allegations to be true, and the dismissals were made this morning.”
Allegations against the troopers were brought against one trooper back in October 2019, which led to a snowball of allegations against other troopers, CBS said.
“When that person was disciplined for those activities, he then came forward and said, ‘Well, I’m not the only one who cheated. I’m not the only one who did this,’ and made the allegation that essentially everybody had cheated. Well, when that occurs, that gets your attention, and then we go down the path of the investigation of the whole school,” McDonough said.
That specific trooper class graduated in 2019 with 33 total troopers. One trooper resigned after the cheating allegations came to light.
“When a person is pulled over, given a speeding citation, they should feel the training the person received and their performance on the exam for that certification has been done so without cheating. This goes to our very core values. It’s something very difficult to swallow,” McDonough said.
The commissioner says the State Patrol will go back to formal classroom exams - given by instructors.
Troopers that were stationed in the WTOC viewing area:
- Evan Bauza - Hinesville post
- Logan Beck - Brunswick post
- Brian Whelehan - Brunswick post
The rest of the 106th Trooper School assignments:
- Erguens Accilien - Post 21 - Sylvania
- David Allan - Post 6 - Gainesville
- Jalin Anderson - Post 33 - Milledgeville
- Erik Austell - Post 15 - Perry
- Christopher Cates - Post 27 – Blue Ridge
- Seferino Chavez - Post 47 – Forest Park
- Demon Clark - Post 17 - Washington
- Christopher Cordell - Post 5 - Dalton
- Clint Donaldson - Post 49 – Motor Unit
- Eric Guerrero - Post 36 - Douglas
- Jonathan Hayes - Post 29 - Paulding
- Nicholas Hawkins - Post 46 - Monroe
- Bradley Hunt - Post 2 - LaGrange
- Clarence Johnson - Post 25 - Grovetown
- Evan Joyner - Post 2 - LaGrange
- Richard Justice - Post 25 - Grovetown
- Malcolm Martinez - Post 47 – Forest Park
- Rebecca Moran - Post 51 - Gwinnett
- Paul Osuegbu - Post 6 - Gainesville
- Jose Perez - Post 13 - Tifton
- Patrick Pollett - Post 25 - Grovetown
- Troy Pudder - Post 30 - Cordele
- Caleb Pyle - Post 24 – Newnan
- Daysi Ramirez - Post 15 - Perry
- Gabriel Rampy - Post 4 – Villa Rica
- Adam Salter - Post 26 - Thomaston
- Jerry Slade - Post 30 - Cordele
- Kyle Thompson - Post 36 - Douglas
- James Vaughan - Post 10 - Americus
- Kelley Whitaker - Post 14 - Colquitt