Tallahassee Firefighter Charged With Fraud

May 20, 2014

Credit Ryan Benk / WFSU News

    

A Tallahassee firefighter is being charged with giving 42 fire college students passing grades although he actually didn’t teach a single course. Now Lt. Matt Schlossman faces 17 fraud charges.

In two years, Schlossman, an instructor for Florida’s Bureau of Fire Standards and Training, supposedly taught 17 different officer’s certification classes. But, according to the property owner of the building where the classes purportedly took place, not a single session was ever convened. Schlossman’s Tallahassee students say they received perfect grades for tests and quizzes they never took.

Tallahassee Fire Department Fire Chief John Gatlin says after an internal department investigation, what happens to the students who were fraudulently passed is now in the hands of the state fire marshal.

“You know, the courses that are in question were not taught at a TFD facility, nor were they taught while Mr. Schlossman was an employee of the Tallahassee Fire Department. These are courses he is authorized to teach on behalf of the state fire marshal and students are provided credit and/or qualifications for additional testing,” Gatlin points out.

Gatlin explains Schlossman functioned as an independent contractor for teaching state fire college courses. The state fire marshal’s office declined comment Tuesday, citing an ongoing investigation.

Schlossman was arrested and charged on May 16. The Tallahassee Fire Department put him on paid administrative leave pending the results of a criminal investigation.