Few Won't Discuss Resumes of Aides; Claims City Order to Avoid Queries

Article excerpt

Byline: Matthew Cella, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

D.C. Fire Chief Ronnie Few yesterday told the D.C. Council that top city officials have directed him not to answer questions about whether three of his top appointees lied about their professional and educational experience in their resumes and employment applications.

"I've been asked by the city administrator not to release anything," Chief Few said in response to a question about the resumes from council member Kathy Patterson, Ward 3 Democrat and chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

But City Administrator John Koskinen denied having instructed Chief Few not to talk about the resumes.

"We have not asked anybody not to say anything," Mr. Koskinen told The Washington Times in a telephone interview.

Mr. Koskinen said he has formed a group to collect and examine data to verify the credentials of Chief Few's appointees, but added that Chief Few is not prohibited from discussing the issue.

The Times first reported last week that the resumes of Assistant Chief Gary L. Garland, Assistant Chief Marcus R. Anderson and Deputy Chief Bruce A. Cowan say they each held the rank of chief at the East Point, Ga., Fire Department. But none of them ever rose higher than the rank of lieutenant, according to East Point's city attorney and the former fire chief.

The resumes also say they attended universities that have no record of their enrollments.

Council member Adrian M. Fenty yesterday said Chief Few's failure to respond to questions about the matter was "disappointing and unsatisfying." The Ward 4 Democrat said he had several questions prompted by constituent concerns that he had planned to ask Chief Few regarding his top assistants.

"It has surprised me how many pieces of correspondence I have received on it, and it is because of statements like this that citizens want to make sure we have a government that's clean and meritorious," Mr. Fenty said.

Mrs. Patterson said she didn't want to dismiss the possibility that high-ranking officials in the fire department had lied about their credentials. "It appears to me, Chief Few, that you are being hung out to dry by your superiors," she added.

Chief Few told Mrs. Patterson that he believes Mr. Koskinen's investigation will have a "favorable outcome" and that he will brief the council on it "very soon. …