- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Acting D.C. Fire Chief Adrian Thompson yesterday said he is evaluating a deputy chief who was disciplined for lying on his resume before deciding the fire official's fate.
Chief Thompson said he transferred Deputy Chief Bruce A. Cowan from fire marshal to the radio shop with no command authority so Chief Cowan could learn about the fire department's communication system. He said he will evaluate Chief Cowan based on how much he has learned.
"I am giving him an opportunity to learn," the fire chief said. "He would have to learn."
Chief Thompson said a decision about Chief Cowan's future will come "soon."
The fire chief's comments were his first since The Washington Times reported Monday that Chief Cowan, who earns $105,000 a year, had been transferred to the radio shop. Fire department employees described his job as "counting radios" and said he had no command authority.
Chief Cowan and former Assistant Chiefs Gary L. Garland and Marcus R. Anderson lied on their resumes about their professional and educational experience, The Washington Times first reported in March.
The chiefs were friends of former D.C. Fire Chief Ronnie Few when he headed fire departments in Georgia in the 1990s. Chief Few appointed them to special posts provided by Mayor Anthony A. Williams and the D.C. Council to bring outside expertise into the department.
D.C. officials said in April that the three were disciplined for their false resumes, but details of the disciplinary action were not disclosed.
Chief Thompson, who is acting chief while awaiting confirmation by the council, said it is not necessary to bring in anyone to rebuild the department.
"The positions [created under Chief Few] are now filled from within [the department]," the chief said, adding that Chief Few's appointees have been replaced with personnel who have risen through the ranks.
Chiefs Garland and Anderson resigned in July, when Chief Few, under pressure, also stepped down as head of the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.
Chief Cowan was reassigned in September.
Chief Cowan and his Georgian comrades said in their resumes that they were chiefs for the East Point, Ga., Fire Department, where they had worked with Chief Few. In fact, none had risen above the rank of lieutenant.
The chiefs' resumes also noted their attendance at universities that have no records of their being enrolled or earning degrees.
Chief Cowan also said that he had retired from East Point, when, in fact, he had been fired. He later said that he had been reinstated, but documents and East Point officials said he was not.
Chief Few, whose resume also was found to have significant errors, said he had promoted the trio, but city records show no such promotions.

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