October 31, 2009 in City

Fake diplomas won’t cost jobs

Nicholas K. Geranios Associated Press

Eight Washington State Patrol troopers who used diplomas from fake schools to try to claim pay raises will be suspended but not fired.

The State Patrol reversed itself Friday and decided to modify a recommendation from August that the troopers be dismissed.

State Patrol spokesman Jeff DeVere said further investigation revealed no clear intent by the troopers to deceive the agency because they did not know the schools were not accredited.

After the firing recommendation in August, the troopers were given a chance to meet with administrators to explain their actions, DeVere said.

No criminal charges were filed.

The suspensions will range from three to 10 unpaid days, DeVere said.

The troopers had been suspended with pay since last October pending the investigation, he said.

The troopers will return to work next week. Because they have been off the job so long, they will have to undergo firearm and driver training, DeVere said.

DeVere said some of the fake schools were so sophisticated they had official-looking Web sites and even alumni newsletters.

DeVere has said troopers earn a 2 percent raise for a two-year degree and a 4 percent raise for a four-year degree.

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