A widespread cheating scandal cost 30 Georgia State Patrol troopers their jobs this week.
The troopers were fired after being accused of cheating on an online exam. Georgia Public Safety Commissioner Col. Mark McDonough confirmed the disciplinary action.
It follows an investigation by the department’s Office of Professional Standards in October.
That’s when an allegation was made that everyone in the graduating class had cheated during the online examination. All 33 class members are August graduates of the 106th Trooper School.
Since graduation, one trooper resigned, one trooper was previously dismissed, and one trooper is on military leave – leaving 30 members who were dismissed Wednesday.
As WABE’s Maria White Tillman reports, the timeline in this investigation is as follows:
- On Oct. 8, an allegation was made that everyone in the school had cheated during the online examination for the Speed Detection Operator course.
- An investigation was opened on Oct. 15.
- The Office of Professional Standards investigators conducted interviews with two members of the 106th School who corroborated the allegation initially made.
- Between Oct. 25 and Nov. 13, investigators interviewed the remaining troopers who had graduated from the 106th Trooper School regarding the allegation.
- The investigation concluded earlier this month, leading to the dismissals Wednesday morning.
Investigators found the cadets utilized written or typed notes, received direct assistance from another cadet (test answers), utilized test questions and answers posted by a cadet on the GroupMe online application and queried an internet search engine for test questions and answers.
Additionally, two Snapchat group chats were created that included several members of the class.