I peronally know this guy , and he is the last person i would ever geuss to do something this dumb..

Cleveland firefighter faces felony charges; accused of stealing exam
Posted by Mark Puente/Plain Dealer Reporter April 16, 2009 05:35AM
Categories: Crime, Real Time News
Related content

• Cleveland firefighters called to testify to grand jury about stolen test

A veteran Cleveland firefighter faces three felony charges after being accused Wednesday of stealing an exam and distributing it to his comrades.

Lt. Paul Legeza, 49, sat for the "Paramedic Functioning Test" in October 2007.

Prosecutors accuse Legeza of photographing the computer screen containing the exam questions, then using the images to create a disk of the questions and answers for the exam.

Developing a new test will cost the city $56,000, prosecutors said.

All Cleveland firefighters must be certified as emergency medical technicians. Being certified as a paramedic takes further training, since paramedics are allowed to administer drugs. Firefighters voluntarily take the tests and do not receive any additional pay from the city to work as paramedics.

Legeza faces two charges of theft in office and one charge of unauthorized use of a computer.

Chester Ashton, head of the fire union, said if the allegations are true, they may merit Fire Department discipline but not felony charges.

"I don't see how this is a criminal matter," he said. "Let's let the legal process play out."

Legeza will be placed on unpaid leave until the case goes through the court system, Ashton said.

Twenty-seven firefighter/paramedics testified before a Cuyahoga County grand jury Monday about the exam. The city-administered test, which paramedics and EMS workers are required to pass every three years, emphasizes the most current medical protocols and procedures and goes above what is required for a state certification, city officials said.

Firefighters who fail the test can't do paramedic duties but don't lose their jobs. Cleveland officials created the test with help from the city's Physicians Advisory Board and the Public Safety Department's medical director.

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Well theft is theft and theft is always wrong!

As far as Firefighters who do not think it merits felonius status...it will cost at least 56K to fix or re-test. What if he had stole $56,000.00 from union funds or city funds? Then is it a felony?

Part of this is something that has been bothering me for a few years. There seems to be an underlying current that cheating is somehow now "ok". Afterall...it was for me to get something and so therefore I can cheat. "I deserve it"...This is now what people say. Not, "I have WORKED for it, or Studied my as* for it", but I deserve and the end justifies the means.

When I was testing a wise ol Jake told me..."You should be willing to do anything to get the job as long as it is not illegal, immoral or unethical"...GOOD THOUGHT.

A few years ago i was teaching at an academy class and I gave the cadets that same quote. One cadet raised her hand and said..."Shouldn't we be willing to do ANYTHING?"

"Yes" I said "as long as it is not illegal, immoral or unethical"

She replied..." I dont think that last part fits..we should be willing to do whatever it takes".

I asked her if she would lie?
Break a law?
Maybe, depends.

1 month later she was dismissed from the academy foe CHEATING on an exam. She sued. She lost, She went to the media and gave us a bunch of bad press....

All because this is the current "fabric" of society.
If this is true, I say don't pass go, or collect $200, go directly to jail. People do dumb things sometimes
A similar situation to this happened in Illinois about five years ago.
Some firefighters from a department that shall remain nameless apparently got their hands on the answer sheet before they took the test.
The state suspended the entire EMT testing program with the exception of the National Registry. It threw the screws into our program for years. The bottom line is that they had to come up with a new state test. It cost the state millions of dollars, so don't think for a minute that it isn't a big deal to steal a test or test answers.
It is huge and especially if you took the classes and can't test for, oh let's say, three years. How well do you think you'll do?
And it people like that who put the nation where is today!

Chester Ashton, head of the fire union, said if the allegations are true, they may merit Fire Department discipline but not felony charges.

"I don't see how this is a criminal matter," he said. "Let's let the legal process play out."

Go figure, union rep...

You're damn right it's a criminal matter. Just like Jake said, theft is just that, STEALING. Your stealing from fellow firefighters, new and upcoming firefighters, your community... the list goes on! Idk how much stuff cost up in Cleveland, but 56k would buy us a heck of alot of new gear and equipment. Hell that's a pretty good down payment on a new rig!

This would fall under Malicious Mischeif (causing damage in X amount of dollars) in MS. And if it's over 5 grand... it's felony mischief. I think he should have to pay restitution to the city out of his pension/retirement. You will NEVER be able to justify stealing something to me. There's just no excuse.
I remember once I took a major County departments exam, they had a morning and afternoon test session.

I had the afternoon. As I walked thru the parking lot to take my test, there were guys there, giving the answers, writing up math equations, and drawing geometric diagrams for their friends coming in to take the test.

I'm sure that all these people taking this test would go to their oral board and expound on the virtues of firefighters, how the are noble, trustworthy, honest...Afterall....."we never lock our lockers, cuz were all honest".....RIGHT?
Also....you may not think of it as criminal EXCEPT....Do you want the medic working on you or your family or friends...WHO CHEATED ON THE EXAM????
The sad thing about it is, unless you get caught, noone will ever know except the cheater himself. How can one live with that you ask? Well it doesn't make 2 Sh*#s to them, they've already cheated their way into the position.
YUP...A friend of mine told me not too long ago that he cheated on almost every testing process that he was in...whether it was a written, lying in an oral, or lying in his background, he has been on the job for 12 years now. I have had to re-consider what type of person he is lately!
It's a shame that people have to resort to cheating. I put alot of time and effort into what I do and expect the same from the people I work with. Not only did he let himself down and his department down, he eroded the trust of the public. Like mentioned above, that $56K that it will take to remake the test could be used for much better things.

I consider it theft and would hope that they would find someway to charge him for the costs incurred to redo the test.

The sense of entitlement in todays world is very disheartening. They teach kids that there is no such thing as failure and give them as many times as it takes to pass. While I am all for encouraging and giving multiple chances, there also comes a point when they need to experience failure and the repurcussions for it.


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