An audit released over the weekend showed that 17 sworn
But the audit did not reveal the names of those who shared the exam material. Rather, county auditors said they will present the chief with a separate, confidential report that identifies people responsible for the breaches so that the chief "may take appropriate corrective and/or disciplinary action."
It was unclear whether any of the employees cited in the audit have been disciplined.
In at least one case, a candidate who received copies of interview questions and answers was the son of a fire captain who sent emails to his father requesting clarification on certain questions, the investigation found. That son was hired.
When interviewed by county investigators, the department employees involved "generally asserted that they did not remember why they circulated examination content or know how it might have been used," auditors wrote.
Copies of written and oral exams were left in "an unsecured box of paperwork that was left unattended in an empty work station" in the Fire Department's exam section. Department staff inadvertently mailed the internal rating standards to some candidates. And the agency was often unable to provide documents showing how it selected candidates for the written exams, as well as background checks and medical examinations.
"As a result, we could not determine if the selections were random or evaluate the integrity or the objectivity of the process," the auditors wrote.
In a written response to the auditors, Fire Chief Daryl Osby promised to "communicate to all departmental personnel that disseminating examination content is prohibited and any violation may be subject to discipline." He said he would work with county attorneys and human resources officials to develop improved safeguards. The department will also implement a policy on nepotism, he wrote.