- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 27, 2002

D.C. City Administrator John Koskinen said in a statement yesterday that "appropriate disciplinary actions" are being taken against three D.C. Fire Department officials who lied on their resumes, but both he and Mayor Anthony A. Williams refused to answer questions about the matter.
Mr. Koskinen had been charged by the mayor with investigating Assistant Chief Gary L. Garland, Assistant Chief Marcus R. Anderson and Deputy Chief Bruce A. Cowan after a recent series of articles in The Washington Times detailed what appear to be falsehoods and inflated statements on their resumes.
At least two of the three met with Mr. Koskinen yesterday:
Chief Cowan indicated after the 90-minute meeting that he still worked for the District.
Chief Garland refused to say whether he had been fired.
Chief Anderson was not at work Friday.
All three are friends and former subordinates of Chief Ronnie Few, who recruited the men from East Point, Ga., to join him in the District.
There had been speculation among some Council members that the mayor was waiting on Mr. Koskinen's report before stepping in and shaking up the leadership team at the fire department, but one top city official said that has not happened.
When reached outside his office in the Wilson Building, Mr. Koskinen refused to comment.
"I'm not going to talk to you. I'm late for a meeting," he said.
Tony Bullock, spokesman for Mr. Williams, said last evening that there have been no changes in the leadership of the Fire and EMS Department. He would not say whether changes would be made.
The statement released by Mr. Koskinen said he received the results of the investigation on Thursday and then made his recommendations to the mayor.
"In response to the facts reviewed, appropriate disciplinary actions are being taken in individual cases," the statement said. "Statutory protection of employee personnel records prohibit us from disclosing the details of any individual actions."
Council member Kathy Patterson, Ward 3 Democrat and chairwoman of the council's Judiciary Committee, said Mr. Koskinen should make the investigation public because it appears the three fire department administrators violated city personnel laws.
"There are just too many unanswered questions that need to be answered," Mrs. Patterson said.
Mrs. Patterson has said it took too long to investigate the three officials and that the lengthy investigation has affected the morale of the Fire and EMS Department.
She also said Mr. Williams needs to fire Chief Few.
"I think the mayor needs to make a decision about his future," Mrs. Patterson said.
Mr. Williams has been critical of Chief Few in his public comments this week, and he told The Times last Thursday that he has begun evaluating the chief's performance monthly. But he has not said he will ask Chief Few to resign.
D.C. Council member Adrian Fenty said yesterday that the chief should consider stepping aside.
"I would hope that Chief Few is thinking of resigning," said Mr. Fenty, Ward 4 Democrat. "I don't know how the city is supposed to maintain confidence in the chief."
Mr. Fenty agreed with Mrs. Patterson that the results of Mr. Koskinen's review should be made public.
"Chief Few's performance has been substandard, but beyond that, this issue of resume fraud and the performance of the people who have committed the resume fraud mandate that the information is released."
The Washington Times reported Thursday that Mr. Koskinen's inquiry found that Chief Garland and Chief Cowan each had major errors on his resume.
The investigation found that Chief Garland falsely said he had earned an associate's degree and that Chief Cowan said he had retired from his former job at the East Point Fire Department when he had been fired.
Chief Cowan has said that he appealed his termination as fire marshall at the East Point Fire Department and was reinstated. But personnel records from the small municipality outside Atlanta show he was fired for insubordination.
Mr. Williams said on Thursday that he wanted a separate investigation of Chief Few, who has his own problems since The Washington Post reported two weeks ago that he falsely claimed a degree from Morris Brown College and cites on his resume an award that does not exist.
Chief Few said in a statement on Wednesday that he did not intend to resign. Chief Few has refused all requests for interviews for the past three weeks.
Chief Few apologized for the errors and blamed them on an employee in Augusta, Ga., where he served as fire chief before coming to Washington in July 2000.
City employees said the inquiry into Chief Few will include an evaluation of his appointments of the three assistant chiefs who were his friends from East Point. Chief Few served as fire chief in East Point until 1997, when he was named chief in Augusta.
Chief Garland, Chief Anderson and Chief Cowan said on their resumes that they held the ranks of chief in East Point, although their personnel records indicate that none of the three ever rose above the rank of lieutenant. Chief Few also said he promoted all three to the rank of chief, although there are no records of those promotions.
Brian DeBose contributed to this report.

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