- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 13, 2002

The chairman of the D.C. Council's Judiciary Committee told Mayor Anthony A. Williams yesterday to either resolve the "resume fraud" scandal in the city's fire department or fire D.C. Fire Chief Ronnie Few.
"The persistent rumors and press assertions regarding Chief Few and his top managers have had and continue to have a damaging impact on morale within a critical public safety agency," Kathy Patterson said in a letter to Mr. Willliams yesterday.
"I write to ask that you either clear the air on this matter immediately or replace Chief Few," said Mrs. Patterson, Ward 3 Democrat and chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which oversees the fire department.
Mrs. Patterson also said the investigation being conducted by City Administrator John Koskinen into the resume scandal "has been under way for nearly a month, far longer than such a review should take."
Mr. Williams directed Mr. Koskinen to begin the investigation March 7 after The Washington Times inquired about the resumes of Assistant Chief Gary L. Garland, Assistant Chief Marcus R. Anderson and Deputy Chief Bruce A. Cowan. The Times reported March 13 that the chiefs' resumes list ranks and education they did not achieve.
Williams spokeswoman Sharon Gang said yesterday that she did not know whether the mayor has seen Mrs. Patterson's letter and did not know whether he wished to comment on it.
Mr. Koskinen, who was supposed to have completed his investigation this week, said yesterday that it is likely to be finished next week. The investigation was previously delayed after subsequent reports in The Times about the chiefs' resumes and employment applications. It was delayed last week after The Times reported that Chief Cowan said he resigned from his previous job when he actually had been fired for insubordination.
"We thought we were making good progress during the last couple of days, but then there is a resume of Chief Few's floating around we need to check," Mr. Koskinen said. "We had hoped to be done with it this week. Now our goal is no later than the end of next week."
The Washington Post reported yesterday that Chief Few's resume falsely lists receiving a bachelor's degree from Morris Brown College in Atlanta and the 1998 Fire Chief of the Year award from the International Association of Fire Fighters. College officials said Chief Few attended the school but never received a degree, and the firefighters group does not bestow such awards.
Chief Few blamed the errors on whoever prepared his resume at his former department in Georgia. In his confirmation hearing before the council in 2000, Chief Few testified that he attended the college but did not mention receiving a degree and that he received the award from the Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute, a training contractor he did business with, The Post reported.
"Please accept my public apology for the oversight in my resume that has caused speculation about my professional experience and education," Chief Few said in a prepared statement yesterday.
"I never attempted to include erroneous information in my resume. I offered the correct information in my testimony. I subsequently directed my D.C. staff to make corrections to my personal information as well."
Fire department spokeswoman Lisa Bass reiterated yesterday Chief Few's explanation for the resume's errors, adding that he has corrected the information in his personnel file.
In her letter to Mr. Williams, Mrs. Patterson told the mayor's office that the "resume you forwarded to the Council nearly two years ago, accompanying Chief Few's confirmation resolution, includes at least two errors of fact pertaining to his education and an award from the firefighters' union."
Anyone who falsifies D.C. employment records can be fired immediately and face criminal charges. Robert P. Newman was forced to resign as director of the D.C. Parks and Recreation Department in October 2000 after discrepancies in his resume had been exposed, and Mr. Williams was widely criticized for not firing him.
Miss Bass released a new biography of Chief Few yesterday. It says he received his award from the Carl Holmes institute and deletes any mention of his attending Morris Brown College.

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