Officer faces court-martial in WAPS cheating scandal

4 Oct 2006 | Staff Sgt. Matthew Bates

A prior-enlisted officer is facing a court-martial Oct. 4 at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., stemming from an investigation into an alleged Weighted Airman Promotion System cheating scandal that lasted nearly 10 years.

Capt. Rhonda McDaniel, who is assigned to the 45th Aeromedical-Dental Squadron, is charged with conspiracy to compromise promotion tests and with compromising controlled test material before she became a commissioned officer. 

She allegedly obtained and provided test answers to enlisted Airmen taking promotion tests.

The year-long investigation into the cheating scandal has lead to charges against 14 Airmen, some of whom have been court-martialed, demoted or discharged from the military. The scandal is believed to have involved Airmen at bases in Germany, Japan, South Korea and the U.S.

The cheating is thought to have started as early as 1995, when former Master Sgt. J. Abdhur-Rahim Saafir, was a staff sergeant in the personnel office at Rhein-Main Air Base in Germany. 

Sergeant Saafir, who has been described as the "ringleader" of the Airmen involved in the cheating ring, pleaded guilty to the illegal distribution of test materials in 2005 and was dishonorably discharged from the Air Force. He also served four months of a 42-month confinement sentence under a plea deal to aid investigators identify other Airmen involved in the ring.

In testimony at Captain McDaniel's Article 32 hearing in April, Sergeant Saafir stated the captain was part of the group.

If convicted, Captain McDaniel could face, among other punishments, dismissal from the service and imprisonment.
Marine Corps News

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