Head of Georgia State Patrol resigns following cheating scandal

Georgia News

Former Georgia Department of Public Safety Commissioner Col. Mark McDonough discusses cheating investigation

ATLANTA (WSAV) – Two weeks after announcing 30 state troopers were fired for cheating on an exam, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS) and head of Georgia State Patrol has stepped down from his position.

The DPS confirmed Col. Mark McDonough’s resignation to News 3 early Wednesday afternoon.

11 Alive reports Governor Brian Kemp asked for McDonough’s resignation and the state Board of Public Safety accepted it Wednesday morning.

“My family and I thank Colonel McDonough for his dedicated service, leadership, and sacrifice. We wish him the very best in the years ahead,” Kemp said in a statement to News 3.

McDonough held a press conference last month to discuss the cheating scandal, which involved three troopers from the Coastal Empire: Evan Bauza, of Chatham County, assigned to Post 11 in Hinesville, Brian Whelehan, of Bryan County, assigned to Post 23 in Brunswick and Erguens Accilien, of Columbia County, assigned to Post 21 in Sylvania.

33 graduates of the 106th Trooper School. According to Col. McDonough, prior to the Jan. 29 dismissal, one cadet resigned, for reasons that weren’t disclosed, and another is on military leave.

The now-former head of Georgia State Patrol said the investigation started after a complaint from a citizen who had a relationship with a former cadet.

The cadet apparently gave her his name and password so she could take an online test for speed detection. Then other allegations were brought forward, including that all cadets in the 106th Trooper School cheated on a speed detection exam.

READ MORE: 30 Georgia State Patrol troopers fired for cheating on exam

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