ATLANTA — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp had a stern warning Thursday after the state’s Department of Public Safety announced a cheating scandal involving dozens of state troopers.
Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant broke the news Wednesday that 31 state troopers were fired this week for cheating at the state’s training academy.
Diamant spoke one-on-one with Kemp on Thursday about the public safety impact the scandal could have.
“When you got word of just how broad and deep this cheating scandal is over at GSP, what was going through your mind?” Diamant asked Kemp.
“Well, it’s very disappointing,” Kemp said.
“What is your expectation of that agency?” Diamant asked.
“Well, I certainly am going to make sure we get to the complete bottom of what’s going on and be transparent as we do that,” Kemp said.
On Wednesday, Diamant broke the news that 31 state troopers admitted to cheating, in one way or another, on a radar test before graduating last year from the same cadet class.
“What do we do to restore the public’s trust?” Diamant asked Kemp.
“I’m not worried about the credibility, because we’re going to handle the situation, and Georgians should know that people will be held accountable for their actions,” Kemp said.
But Public Safety Commissioner Col. Mark McDonough described the immediate impact.
“You remove a certain group of people from the roadway, it does have an impact in my opinion on public safety,” McDonough said.
The governor disagreed.
“I know the rest of the Patrol will pick up the slack,” Kemp said.
McDonough said those fired troopers had already caught 133 cases.
Georgia State University law school’s Jessica Cino explained how the scandal could put many of those cases in jeopardy.
“That’s kind of a gimme. If the guy cheated on the radar test and that is the one thing he did in this case, I mean, that’s just going to upset the entire case. It will be over,” Cino said.
While DPS works on ways to keep this from happening again, the Georgia agency that certifies law enforcement officers will be conducting investigations into each of the fired troopers.
Diamant texted or left messages Thursday for more than a half dozen of the fired troopers to get their side, but none called him back.
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