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Muncie Fire Department captain placed on paid leave following exam cheating scandal

An Indiana State Department of Homeland Security investigation determined Capt. Troy Dulaney coordinated a “cheating scheme” with the Muncie Fire Department.

INDIANAPOLIS — Muncie’s fire chief says the high-ranking firefighter and EMT at the center of a cheating scandal has been placed on leave and might face further disciplinary action.

“Captain Troy Dulaney has been placed on inactive administrative leave status with pay effective 25 May 2023 [sic],” MFD chief Robert Mead wrote Friday afternoon in a statement to 13News, adding that the department will “determine a more definitive disciplinary action” after June 5.

Following a 13News investigation that helped expose the MFD cheating scandal and resulting punishments announced by the Indiana State Fire Marshal, Muncie’s mayor released a statement earlier this week calling Dulaney’s behavior “completely unacceptable,” and the mayor said the city will be “pursuing disciplinary action, up to and including termination.”

An Indiana State Department of Homeland Security investigation determined that Dulaney coordinated a “cheating scheme” with the Muncie Fire Department in which he provided test questions and answers to EMT recruits before they took they National Registry EMT exams. 

The investigation report provided to 13 Investigates also said Dulaney asked recruits to provide him with questions and answers that they could recall after completing their EMT exams, a strict violation of both National Registry rules and state law.

State investigators have informed Dulaney they intend to revoke all of his EMT-related certifications for seven years as a result of the cheating scheme, which would essentially prohibit him from serving as an EMT in Indiana during that time. He is legally permitted to appeal the decision.

Dulaney also faces the possibility of further disciplinary action by the Indiana Firefighting Standards and Education Commission. In addition, the 19-year veteran of the Muncie Fire Department is named in a federal lawsuit alleging he violated copyright law and caused the National Registry to incur significant financial and reputational loss by disseminating test questions despite signing a non-disclosure agreement to keep the information confidential.

In his statement to 13News, Mead said he will not be recommending further discipline against eight EMT recruits who allegedly received exam questions and answers from Dulaney.

Those EMTs have already been disciplined by IDHS, which ordered that the EMTs’ licenses be placed on probation for two years, that they re-take their EMT exams and pay a $100 civil penalty. State investigators determined the recruits did not request to receive exam questions and answers from Dulaney but still violated rules by not alerting supervisors or state officials that test protocols were violated. 

Their punishment does not prevent them from continuing to serve as EMTs while they re-take their exams and serve their 2-year probations.

“I have determined that the Order put out by IDHS is sufficient and no further discipline will be sought by the Muncie Fire Department at this time based upon the information available and as long as there are no future violations,” Mead wrote.

Muncie’s fire chief said the State Fire Marshal’s office is still actively investigating some individual firefighter certifications, and the complete investigation results have not yet been provided to the Muncie Fire Department. 

“Muncie Fire Department intends to fully comply with the IDHS directives and the State Fire Marshal,” Mead said, adding that he has confidence in the abilities of every member of the department.

Muncie’s mayor and the fire merit commission president told 13 Investigates they did not know about the MFD cheating scheme until they learned about it from 13News’ ongoing investigation. That investigation included interviews with several current and former MFD employees, who told 13 Investigates they had witnessed the cheating firsthand. They also said the systemic problem had been occurring for years.

Dulaney has not returned multiple calls from 13News to discuss the allegations against him. In a letter he sent to the National Registry, Dulaney denied engaging in improper behavior.

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