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Update: Fire chief found dead at home while under investigation for ‘lying about having master’s degree 

West Midlands Fire chief, Wayne Brown has been found dead at his home after an investigation was launched into claims he ‘lied about having a master’s degree to get £180,000-a-year job.

Mr Brown, who was hired as chief of West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority in the UK last year, was accused of lying about his qualifications and playing for Charlton Athletic when applying for the £180,000-a-year job.

The firefighter, who was part of the London Fire Brigade for 27 years until switching to the West Midlands service in 2019, had impressed superiors with his Master of Business Administration degree from London South Bank University. But an investigation was launched after his alleged alma mater said it had no record of his degree, with the fire chief removing them from his LinkedIn account shortly afterwards.

In a statement issued on Wednesday evening, West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority confirmed Mr Brown had been found dead at his home this morning.

Greg Brackenridge, chairman of the service, said: ‘We are devastated to report that our chief fire officer, Wayne Brown, was this morning found dead at his home address.

‘The death is not being treated as suspicious by West Midlands Police.

‘All our thoughts and love are with his family, his friends and his colleagues.

‘We ask everyone that his family and his colleagues are given time and space at this tragic time.’

In a statement West Midlands Police said it was not treating Mr Brown’s death as suspicious.

‘We can confirm that we attended an address in Birmingham this morning where the body of a man in his 50s was sadly found,’ the force said.

‘The death is not being treated as suspicious and we are liaising with the local coroner.

‘A formal identification will take place in due course.

‘The man’s family is being supported by specialist officers and our thoughts are with them at this time.’

Mr Brown had been under investigation by the fire service after claims he had mislead his employers about his qualifications.

In addition to queries about his academic achievements, concerns were raised by colleagues who said Brown claimed to have been a former pro footballer for Charlton Athletic.

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