ATLANTA - Two high-level resignations within Georgia’s Department of Public Safety on Thursday in the wake of a cheating scandal involving dozens of Georgia State Patrol troopers.
FOX 5 News has learned both the head of the Georgia State Patrol and the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety have stepped down.
Gov. Brian Kemp asked for and received resignations from Col. Mark McDonough, who headed the Georgia State Patrol, and Deputy Commissioner, Lt. Col. Russell Powell.
Col. Mark McDonough
“My family and I thank Colonel McDonough for his dedicated service, leadership, and sacrifice. We wish him the very best in the years ahead," Gov. Kemp said in a statement to FOX 5.
The Georgia State Patrol dismissed more than 30 troopers after it was determined that they cheated on a “Speed Detector Operator” exam they took online.
The troopers were all members of the 106th cadet class, which graduated in August 2019. According to officials, a trooper came forward with allegations that everyone in the class had cheated on the exam.
Georgia State Patrol's 106th Trooper Class ( Georgia State Patrol )
"The initial investigation with him showed he had given his name and password to a citizen to essentially take the course for him," McDonough told FOX 5 shortly after news of the dismissal broke.
Taxpayers paid $1,837,383 for the 33 cadets, GSP said. Among other things, the cost salaries, ammunition, and room and board.
GSP said all of the firings have been reported to the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.