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Georgia State Patrol fires 30-plus new troopers for cheating; 2 from Gainesville post

Two troopers assigned to the Gainesville post were among the 33 August graduates of the 106th Georgia State Patrol Trooper School who are no longer on the job after a cheating probe, according to authorities.

An entire graduating class of the Georgia State Patrol’s Trooper School has been fired or resigned amid a cheating scandal, the state’s public safety chief said Wednesday.

David Allan, of Hall County, and Paul Osuegbu, of Barrow County, were on the list of removed troopers.

“Any questions regarding the inquired investigation can be directed to our Public Information Office. Post 6 Gainesville and I have no comments at this time,” Gainesville post commander Auston Allen wrote in an email.

At a news conference, Georgia Department of Public Safety Commissioner Col. Mark W. McDonough confirmed to news outlets that 32 troopers were fired after being accused of cheating on an online exam for the speed detection operator component of the school’s curriculum. One trooper resigned after the cheating allegations came to light. All 33 are August graduates of the 106th Trooper School.

McDonough said the investigation began in October after officials learned about the allegations from the girlfriend of one of the cadets, who said she took the online test for him. When confronted about that, the trooper told superiors “He was not the only one who cheated, the whole class cheated,” and that’s when the decision was made to investigate the entire class.

McDonough said State Patrol’s investigation confirmed four allegations: every trooper cheated on speed detection operator exam; a cadet helped another cadet with their exam; three cadets assisted another with their exam; and a training instructor printed a makeup exam and permitted two cadets who failed to take it back to their rooms for studying purposes

McDonough said all the graduates signed an oath to uphold professional conduct and standards, which they violated, leading to Wednesday’s dismissals. He added that the troopers used typed notes, received direct assistance and utilized test questions and answers on GroupMe and on a website that aggregates tests. He also said they used two Snapchat groups to facilitate the cheating and get their stories straight as the investigation was ongoing.

McDonough said he’s ordered a complete audit of the training department, which could lead to people higher up being disciplined.

Times staff writer Nick Watson contributed.

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