A longtime volunteer Port Washington EMT was arrested Wednesday on charges that he used Craigslist to hire someone to take the emergency medical technician certification test for him.
Bernard Shore, 65, pleaded not guilty in First District Court in Hempstead to charges of first-degree offering a false instrument and two counts of official misconduct.
Judge Colin O'Donnell released Shore without bail with the consent of the district attorney. He is due back in court next Wednesday. If convicted, he faces up to 4 years in prison.
"Had this defendant been able to successfully pull off this scam, his lack of qualifications could have meant the difference between life and death for an innocent person," Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice said. "It is unconscionable that Mr. Shore lied on his paperwork and then tried to cheat his way into a position of such importance."
Shore's lawyer, Ed Jenks of Mineola, said his client is a good man.
"His whole life revolved around the fire department. He just loved the camaraderie," Jenks said. "At worst, this was an example of poor judgment."
Shore, a 10-year volunteer critical care emergency medical technician in the Port Washington Fire Department, failed the New York State Critical Care EMT examination in May, prosecutors said.
Shore then applied to be retested on July 18. In June, he placed an ad on Craigslist looking for an EMT-CC or paramedic to take the test for him, prosecutors said.
In the ad, Shore said he would provide the test taker with an ID card and would negotiate a fee based on qualifications, prosecutors said.
Shore was contacted by undercover agents of the New York State Department of Health and Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, who had seen the ad. Shore agreed to pay an undercover agent $400 and provide him with a forged Port Washington Fire Department ID card with Shore's name and the agent's photo, prosecutors said.
On July 16, Shore contacted the agent and told him he had changed his mind and would take the test himself. Shore then met with an undercover New York Post reporter who had also answered his ad later that day and paid him $400 and gave him a fake ID, the paper reported.
Shore is also charged with signing and filing a test application on Feb. 13 that falsely affirms he had not been convicted of any misdemeanors or felonies. Shore was sentenced to 30 days in jail and five years of probation in 1986 for a Suffolk County conviction of felony attempted insurance fraud.