- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 20, 2002

A D.C. government investigation into the resumes of Fire Chief Ronnie Few's three top appointees will not be completed until sometime next week, a spokeswoman for D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams said yesterday.
The completion date for the review, which city officials had said would be yesterday, has been pushed back for a second time since The Washington Times reported on March 13 that the resumes of Assistant Chief Gary L. Garland, Assistant Chief Marcus R. Anderson and Deputy Chief Bruce A. Cowan contained discrepancies.
The resumes say each held the rank of chief at the East Point, Ga., fire department. But none of them rose higher than the rank of lieutenant. The resumes also say the chiefs attended universities that have no record of their enrollments.
A review of the resumes is being conducted by City Administrator John Koskinen, who told The Times on March 21 that his investigation would likely be completed by the end of the next week. On April 12, he said it would likely be completed yesterday.
Yesterday Mr. Koskinen referred questions about delays to Tony Bullock, spokesman for Mr. Williams.
Mr. Bullock said the investigation is incomplete and that Mr. Koskinen is waiting for "additional materials" from East Point.
"I think it's going to be next week," Mr. Bullock said. "They've had a bit of trouble getting all the information to assess the allegations."
Mr. Bullock said city officials are obtaining school and municipal records, and conducting interviews about the chiefs' backgrounds. Fire department sources said Chief Few met yesterday with Mr. Koskinen as part of the review, but Mr. Bullock couldn't confirm that a meeting took place.
Other D.C. government officials have expressed frustration with the pace of the investigation.
The Times reported last Saturday that D.C. Council member Kathy Patterson asked Mr. Williams in a letter dated April 12 to either "clear the air on this matter immediately or replace Chief Few."
"The investigation of resume fraud has been under way for nearly a month, far longer than such a review should take," Mrs. Patterson, Ward 3 Democrat and Judiciary Committee chair, wrote.
Mr. Bullock said yesterday that the mayor was aware of Mrs. Patterson's letter but that the review was being conducted in a "very careful and deliberate fashion."
He said that because of planning for demonstrations this weekend that coincide with the World Bank-International Monetary Fund meetings, the people conducting the review are "some of the busiest people in D.C. government."
"She can be assured that it's happening as fast as it can happen," Mr. Bullock said. "I don't think four or five weeks is that long. We're talking about people's livelihoods, their reputations."
Chiefs Garland, Cowan and Anderson contend they each held the rank of chief when they were recruited to Washington by Chief Few, who left East Point in 1997 to head the Augusta-Richmond County Fire Department in Georgia.
According to documents and personnel records obtained by The Times under Georgia's open-records law, Chief Cowan was assigned as "fire marshal" in 1993 and promoted to lieutenant in 1998; Chief Garland was assigned as "training officer" in 1993 and promoted to lieutenant in 1998; and Chief Anderson was assigned as "EMS coordinator" and promoted to sergeant in 1998.

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