Groomes Declared Innocent!
Cheaters never win. But the Metropolitan Police Department has declared that Assistant Police Chief Diane Groomes isn't a cheater, so... she's won!
The police official once accused of cheating on an intelligence-led policing exam that took many cops hours to drudge through will not only remain on the force, she'll keep her previous rank and post. City Desk earlier reported that the investigation into whether Groomes passed answers to the 50-question test on to officers under her charge had concluded, and that a decision would be made soon. Some cops predicted that after being scrutinized by Internal Affairs Groomes would, at the very least, be demoted. Instead, she's been exonerated. The Washington Post reports:
[Chief Cathy] Lanier said her decision came after an internal investigation concluded that Groomes did not 'compromise' the test. Rather, the internal probe found that the exam was an open-book test. 'No official obtained or shared the answer key,' Lanier said.
That sounds like iffy reasoning. None of the police sources City Desk talked to suggested that Groomes gave out an official "answer key," just answers, and an "open-book test" implies, well, opening a book. That means slogging through an academic text for the answers buried there, instead of, say, clicking through an e-mail where they're all laid out.
Another thing to consider? Groomes is an asset to the District. But is putting her right back in her old position the appropriate thing to do? The whistleblower who turned her in for cheating was likely under her command. Groomes might not seem like the type to hold a grudge— in an e-mail, she writes, "Thank you to all those on my staff . . community groups ... [police department] members (both sworn and civilian) for all of their support and prayers. I look forward to continuing the job that I love doing." But among D.C. cops, the word—rightly or wrongly— most often used to describe department politics is "vindictive."
In any event, MPD's new no-peeking-at-other-people's-answers-policy should head off any future scandals.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery