- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 16, 2002

D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams yesterday said he does not want to subject senior fire department officials to "public executions by guillotine" to resolve their resume scandal.
Mr. Williams' comment came in response to questions about the future of Fire Chief Ronnie Few and his top three aides, who for weeks have weathered criticism, investigations, disciplinary action and calls for their resignation over factual errors in their resumes.
The mayor, who could sack the fire officials, said he must maintain his ability to attract high-quality candidates for city jobs.
"I don't think responding to such situations with public executions by guillotine is the way to preserve that ability," said Mr. Williams, who was attending Lobby Day festivities at the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
Mayoral spokesman Tony Bullock yesterday said Mr. Williams, who is seeking re-election, is waiting to see the findings of City Administrator John Koskinen's review of Chief Few before making any decisions about the fire department's leadership.
Last week, Chief Few issued a 30-page letter to the D.C. Council saying he did not submit a false resume but that the resume the mayor's office released included a college degree and national award that he did not receive.
"We do not write resumes in this office," Mr. Bullock said yesterday. "The only thing we use are what people give us. The communications office does not verify the accuracy of the resumes."
The Washington Times reported yesterday that the D.C. inspector general is investigating Chief Few for errors in his resume, while Assistant Fire Chief Gary L. Garland, who was disciplined for false information in his resume, has said he will resign.
Inspector General Charles Maddox has added Chief Few's resume to an ongoing inquiry of the fire chief's hiring of a friend as a consultant without disclosing his ties to the contractor, city officials said.
Since last week, investigators have interviewed city officials and members of the selection committee that recruited and interviewed Chief Few in 1999. They have asked if Chief Few corrected errors in his resume or made any untrue claims.
Meanwhile, Lisa Bass, spokeswoman for the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, said Chief Garland has decided to resign effective May 26.
The Times first reported March 13 that Chief Garland, Assistant Chief Marcus R. Anderson and Deputy Chief Bruce A. Cowan lied on their resumes about having held the rank of chief in their previous jobs in the East Point, Ga., Fire Department.
The firefighters, whose resumes also had errors about their educational achievements, were friends and subordinates of Chief Few when he led the East Point Fire Department in the 1990s.
The Washington Post reported April 12 that Chief Few's resume erroneously stated that he had received a bachelor's degree from Morris Brown College in Atlanta and received the "1998 Fire Chief of the Year" award from the International Association of Fire Fighters, which does not bestow such awards.
Mr. Koskinen, who is conducting his own investigation of Chief Few, said last week he had not asked the inspector general to investigate the fire chief. He has said, without providing details, that all four chiefs were disciplined April 26 for errors about their educational achievements on their resumes.
D.C. officials have cited privacy rules in refusing to reveal the chiefs' status, even though past disciplinary actions against city officials were noted in public. For example:
When Robert Newman, D.C. parks and recreation director, resigned under pressure in October 2000 for inflated credentials and misconduct, the public was kept abreast of all developments regarding his status.
Saamir "Sam" Kaiser, general counsel to the D.C. chief financial officer and former D.C. financial control board lawyer, left his post quietly after The Washington Post disclosed his fictitious resume in November. His departure was accompanied by statements from his boss, Natwar Gandhi, D.C. chief financial officer, and former boss Daniel Rezneck, former counsel for the now-defunct control board.
Mark A. Jones, a deputy chief of staff for external affairs for the mayor, was placed on administrative leave without pay for violating personnel rules, city officials announced last spring. He was fired in September.
Jim Keary and Jabeen Bhatti contributed to this report.


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