Ex-fire training official could avoid jail in Iowa scandal

A former Iowa fire academy administrator could avoid jail time after falsifying test scores that were used to improperly certify hundreds of firefighters.

Court records show that former Fire Services Training Bureau certification manager John McPhee has agreed to plead guilty to misconduct in office at a hearing set for April 26 in Nevada, Iowa. Sentencing would be expected at a later date.

Prosecutors have agreed to recommend a sentence of two years' probation, restitution and 100 hours of community service. But Judge James Malloy could opt for a different sentence. The felony charge carries a maximum of five years in prison and a $7,500 fine.

McPhee was charged in January. Investigators say he falsified test scores for years, allowing up to 2,400 firefighters to earn certifications despite failing exams.