The Georgia Department of Public Safety on Wednesday fired 30 state troopers after an investigation found that an entire class of recent trainees cheated on an entrance exam.
The wide-sweeping internal investigation was prompted by a tip from a woman formerly involved with one of the fired troopers. She alleged every cadet in the 106th Georgia State Patrol trooper class had cheated on speed detection exams. DPS Commissioner Col. Mark W. McDonough said an internal probe, launched in October, confirmed the allegation.
“It’s a punch in the gut,” McDonough told reporters Wednesday. “This goes to our very core values.”
The class included 33 members, but since graduation one trooper had resigned, one was previously dismissed and one is on military leave. The remaining 30 were fired Wednesday.
The group had written a total of 133 speeding tickets since they graduated. McDonough said that information has been supplied to courts across the state, with the expectation that most of those violations will be dismissed.
The troopers had been assigned to 52 patrol posts around the state.
As cadets, they spent 20 weeks at the academy and 12 weeks in field training.
The class included: Erguens Accilien, David Allan, Jalin Anderson, Erik Austell, Evan Bauza, Logan Beck, Christopher Cates, Seferino Chavez, Demon Clark, Christopher Cordell, Clint Donaldson, Eric Guerrero, Jonathan Hayes, Nicholas Hawkins, Bradley Hunt, Clarence Johnson, Evan Joyner, Richard Justice, Malcolm Martinez, Rebecca Moran, Paul Osuegbu, Jose Perez, Patrick Pollett, Troy Pudder, Caleb Pyle, Daysi Ramirez, Gabriel Rampy, Adam Salter,
Jerry Slade, Kyle Thompson, James Vaughan, Brian Whelehan and Kelley Whitaker.
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