Tennessee County Fire Chief Investigated Over Alleged Fraudulent Certifications

Suspended Bradley County Fire Chief Troy Maney awaits a decision about his future with the fire department after his surrender of multiple certifications for fire fighting, hazardous material operations and instruction.

On June 20, Maney gave up the certifications as part of an agreement with Tennessee’s Firefighting Personnel Standards and Education Commission, which investigated a complaint that the chief obtained the certifications in a “fraudulent, false or unauthorized manner.”

In return, the commission agreed not to go forward with scheduled hearings about the complaint.

On June 22, Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis announced he had placed Maney on unpaid administrative leave for a week, effective that day.

“This time period will allow the mayor to fully assess the documentation provided by the State and to determine the best direction for the Bradley County Fire & Rescue Department moving forward,” Davis said in a news release.

On Thursday, Davis said he would reserve further comment until he had a chance to fully review the matter during Maney’s suspension period.

Neither Maney nor his attorney, James Logan, could be reached for comment on Thursday.

When the state investigated the complaint in August 2015, Logan said he was “privileged to represent a falsely accused man.”

Kevin Walters, spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, said in an email that a fire chief does not need the surrendered certifications to serve in that position.

“Any decision about Mr. Maney’s employment going forward would be handled at the local level,” Walters said.

The agreed upon order says that while Maney did not admit liability to most of the allegations leveled against him, he agreed that “if those factual allegations were adopted by the Commission, during a contested case proceeding, the Commission could find that such constitute violations” pertaining to whether any “fraud, collusion, misrepresentation or substantial mistake was involved in the procurement of the certification.”

The list of allegations includes eight instances between October 2014 and April 2015 in which Maney received certifications or other credits, but did not complete exams or perform other requirements on the dates they were issued.

The complaint, submitted by Battalion Cmdr. Myron Hawkins of Bradley County Fire & Rescue, alleged only that Maney received certification for fire instructor training that took place on April 7, 2015 in LaVergne, Tenn. — a date that Hawkins asserts the chief actually attended an in-service program with the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office.

The commission has barred Maney from participating in the certification program for two years.

The agreed order says that it “represents a compromise and settlement of the controversy between the parties and is for settlement purposes only.”


Contact staff writer Paul Leach at 423-757-6481 or pleach@timesfreepress.com Follow on Twitter @pleach_tfp.

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