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FILE - In this an. 24, 2017, file photo provided by the Story County Sheriff's Office in Ames, Iowa shows John McPhee. McPhee, a former Iowa fire academy administrator, pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 26, 2017, to falsifying test scores that were used to improperly certify thousands of firefighters. (Story County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)
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Ex-Iowa fire academy manager pleads guilty in test scandal

FILE - In this an. 24, 2017, file photo provided by the Story County Sheriff's Office in Ames, Iowa shows John McPhee. McPhee, a former Iowa fire academy administrator, pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 26, 2017, to falsifying test scores that were used to improperly certify thousands of firefighters. (Story County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

NEVADA, Iowa (AP) — A former Iowa fire academy administrator has pleaded guilty to falsifying test scores that were used to improperly certify thousands of firefighters.

Former Fire Services Training Bureau certification manager John McPhee pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony misconduct in office. Judge James Malloy scheduled a sentencing hearing for May 24.

Prosecutors and the defense have agreed to recommend a sentence of two years’ probation, unspecified restitution and community service for McPhee, 49. Malloy could opt for a different sentence for McPhee, who remains free on bond and faces a maximum of five years in prison.

McPhee, who began at the Ames-based academy in 1998, assigned passing scores to exams without checking or correcting them for years. More than 2,400 firefighters and emergency personnel were granted nationally-recognized certifications despite failing tests.

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