- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 25, 2002

Embattled D.C. Fire Chief Ronnie Few said on Tuesday that he "hopes to continue my service" and that he "looks forward to meeting the expectations put before me" notwithstanding the public embarrassment he has caused the mayor and the credibility he has personally lost as a result of his creative writing exercise, er resume, for which he has yet to atone, or even take honest responsibility for.

Let's be blunt: Chief Few lied brazenly about having a college degree. In fact, he never graduated from Morris Brown College in Atlanta. Then he confected an interesting bait-and-switch, claiming to have been honored as "Chief of the Year" by the International Association of Fire Fighters. This group, it turns out, never gave out such an award. But Chief Few got the "award" anyhow, or so he claims through the good offices of a friend who is connected with some other group that has a similar-sounding name. But it's no great stretch to believe that Chief Few intended for those who read his resume to believe that it was the International Association of Fire Fighters that conferred the award, not Chief Few's crony. Nonetheless, Chief Few has had the audacity to claim that these obvious fudgings were the result of "errors" made by an aide of his, who typed up the resume on his behalf. C'mon, Chief Few. An "error" is misspelling a name, or getting a date wrong. It's not "graduated from Morris Brown College" instead of "took a few classes." And the "Chief of the Year" flim-flam, an obvious attempt to gin-up undeserved and unearned credibility by confabulating similar-sounding names and outfits one legitimate and respectable, the other illegitimate and disreputable simply will not bear intelligent scrutiny.

Mayor Anthony Williams is clearly upset about the revelations and very likely also steamed that Chief Few has not had the good grace to submit his resignation. "To the extent that this isn't founded or true," Mr. Williams said on Tuesday of the fictional "Chief of the Year" award, "I feel put out." He's probably seething that Chief Few, by not leaving of his own accord, is effectively forcing the mayor's hand and dragging out a very public scandal.

There's simply no way Chief Few can remain in his position without further eroding respect for the city government and the confidence of the city's residents. Chief Few has accomplished some good work since he was hired in 2000 by Mr. Williams, but the fact is he probably would never have gotten the nod in the first place had he been honest about his background. Good work cannot compensate for such a breach of trust. He should do the right thing and step down.

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