D.C. Fire Chief Likely to Step Down; Resume Troubles Also Trip Up assistant.(PAGE ONE)

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 30, 2002 | Go to article overview

D.C. Fire Chief Likely to Step Down; Resume Troubles Also Trip Up assistant.(PAGE ONE)


Byline: Jim Keary, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

D.C. Fire Chief Ronnie Few is expected to resign as early as this week in the wake of reports that he and three of his aides lied about their professional and educational achievements in their resumes, a senior city government official said yesterday.

"He said he is looking to get out. I think he is itching to leave," said the city official, who asked not to be identified. "It may be sooner rather than later. He is ready to go back to Georgia."

Attempts to contact Chief Few yesterday were unsuccessful. His telephone has been disconnected, and there was no answer at his apartment on the 1400 block of Fourth Street SW.

No one from the fire department attended a mayoral press conference yesterday to announce an initiative to enable inspectors from city regulatory agencies, including the fire department, to enforce certain regulations from other agencies. Chief Few had been scheduled to attend.

Fire department spokeswoman Lisa Bass said Chief Few did not report to work yesterday and that Assistant Chief Adrian Thompson was in charge, adding that he has not been named interim or acting chief. Miss Bass said she last spoke to Chief Few on Friday.

Fire officials said Chief Few and Assistant Chief Gary L. Garland have been placed on 30 days' paid administrative leave and told to resign during that time or be fired.

Fire department sources said Chief Garland likely has resigned already, noting that he turned in his pager and cellular telephone yesterday. "It sounds like he is done," one fire official said.

Miss Bass said Chief Garland also did not report to work yesterday.

City Administrator John Koskinen on Friday said that "appropriate disciplinary actions" have been taken against Chiefs Few and Garland, and Assistant Chief Marcus R. Anderson and Deputy Chief Bruce A. Cowan in the resume scandal.

Neither Mr. Koskinen, who investigated the scandal, nor Mayor Anthony A. Williams, who called for the six-week investigation and has been increasingly critical of Chief Few in public, would divulge how the firefighters were disciplined.

Tony Bullock, spokesman for Mr. Williams, yesterday said he could not disclose the chiefs' punishments or employment statuses.

"They have received some disciplinary action. I cannot discuss it beyond that," Mr. Bullock said. "It is not our practice to discuss personnel issues in the newspaper, so we are not going to start now. You will have to find some other way to learn more."

Margret Nedelkoff Kellems, deputy mayor for public safety and justice, did not return calls made to her office.

The Washington Times first reported on March 13 that Chiefs Garland, Anderson and Cowan said in their resumes that they held the rank of chief in their previous jobs in the East Point, Ga. …

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