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Fire Captain Suspended Over Shady Recruitment Tactics

Fire Captain Suspended Over Shady Recruitment Tactics

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Philadelphia Inquirer via YellowBrix

March 08, 2010

PHILADELPHIA – Capt. Troy K. Gore, an officer detailed to the Philadelphia Fire Department’s recruitment team, was placed on paid leave yesterday over allegations that he proposed a scheme to bring in more minority candidates by doctoring the city’s computerized application process.

Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers announced the move and said he was opening an investigation into an e-mail sent last Sunday by Gore.

The e-mail prompted Club Valiants Inc., the African American firefighters organization that for five decades has challenged hiring practices in the department, to denounce the actions of Gore, one of its highest-ranking members.

In the e-mail to what Gore described as the Valiants’ leadership, he asked if any fellow members had already created “dummy” applications, presumably to test the new system. Each applicant is assigned a log-on and password; Gore asked for those log-ons and passwords so new candidates would still be able to apply after the Feb. 5 deadline.

Gore, Club Valiants’ second vice president, also sought people who had applied to the department but were no longer interested so he could perform a similar switch to get candidates in the pipeline after the deadline.

Gore said he had rescinded his e-mail minutes after he sent it and sent a follow-up message: “This is a bad idea. Forget I sent it and be blessed. Just trying to get people hired.”

In an interview, Gore said: “It was just a thought that came to my head. It wasn’t something I ever intended on doing.”

Valiants president Kenneth W. Greene Sr. provided a copy of the e-mail to The Inquirer along with a statement rejecting its contents.

“We regret the need to issue this statement, but find the suggestions made in the e-mail to be most unfortunate, and feel that we must disassociate our organization, in the strongest possible terms, from any possible suggestion that the conduct proposed in the e-mail is acceptable,” read the statement, released Friday.

Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison on Friday called the e-mail “highly inappropriate” and asked Ayers to look into it. Gillison and Ayers said they had not seen the e-mail before The Inquirer provided a copy.

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