Ex-fire training official gets probation in certs scandal

Almost 2,000 firefighters had been certified despite failing written exams

Associated Press

NEVADA, Iowa  — A former Iowa fire academy administrator has been given two years' probation for falsifying test scores that were used to improperly certify thousands of firefighters.

Former Fire Services Training Bureau certification manager John McPhee also was sentenced Wednesday in Story County District Court to a suspended prison sentence of five years. He was fined $750 and ordered to serve 100 hours of community service. He had pleaded guilty to felony misconduct in office after making a deal with prosecutors.

John McPhee (Photo/Story County Sheriff's Office via AP)
John McPhee (Photo/Story County Sheriff's Office via AP)

McPhee was arrested in January, when the Iowa Department of Public Safety announced that 1,706 firefighters and emergency personnel had been awarded nationally recognized certifications despite failing written exams. The total found eventually reached 2,445. Authorities say McPhee assigned passing scores to exams without checking or correcting them for years.

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