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WSP wants to fire diploma buyers

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Patrol has made a preliminary decision to fire eight troopers who used fake diplomas to claim pay raises.

Patrol spokesman Bob Calkins said Monday’s recommendation from an internal investigation is one step in the process. He said the troopers have the opportunity to meet with commanders this month to challenge facts and discuss discipline. A final decision is likely in September.

The patrol investigation began after federal agents shut down a diploma mill in Spokane. Seattle’s KOMO-TV reported that prosecutors decided not to file criminal charges.

In addition to the eight, two other troopers who were accused have resigned.

Troopers can boost their pay 2 percent by earning a two-year degree or 4 percent with a four-year degree.

The troopers are included in a database, published online by The Spokesman-Review in 2008, of people who bought bogus degrees from a Spokane-based operation that sold more than 10,000 college degrees and high school diplomas worldwide.

The diploma mill was engineered by Dixie Ellen Randock, who has been sentenced to three years in federal prison.

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