City Desk

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

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  • Stating the Obvious

    As usual, one rule for the white shirts, another set of harsher rules for the grunts. Not even a word of a 750 or a letter of prejudice...Thanks, Chief!

  • Rick Mangus


  • monica1stluvspugs

    Yipeee! Chief Groomes is innocent. I knew it all along. MPD just has a good ole boys network and some of them just can't stand women in high level positions. Folks need to stop being jealous of AC Groomes and just take some time off, breath, do yoga and focus on themselves.

    Well, DC will continue a downward trend of less crime and excellent customer service at the AC level. Regular folks who are not community leaders can breathe a sigh of relief because AC Groomes will continue to provide excellent policing, feedback to EVERYONE not just who is important. She's not like the other ACs who have stylists, make-up artists, publicists, secretaries and have entourages bigger than MC Hammer. It's all about the "ego" with the other ACs NOT AC Groomes!

    This is a win for DC!

  • Grumpy

    So this was either a witch hunt to discredit a high ranking female officer OR a 'white shirts rule' issue?

    Maybe it's a combination of both? Maybe she WAS really guilty and it was covered up?

    Can we get someone from the rat squad to give us a 'deep throat' report?

  • monica1stluvspugs

    Paging Mark Felt. Paging Mark Felt. NOT. Duh, people this was an open book test. Maybe the Commander who turned her in, thought it wasn't. Goodnews is, AC Groomes doesn't hold grudges and is the utmost professional.

    If anything, I hope the rank-n-file are able to see how stoic and brave AC Groomes handled this storm. They should take notes.

    Personally, from a DC resident perspective, I love great customer service. She's the only one at that level that answers emails immediately, plus she checks on my block when we have shootings and murders. Sorry, folks I need access to a top manager cop when my block goes Afghanistan. The other ACs are snobs with entourages.

  • GJ

    This is a great day for MPD. The system worked. With an admission of guilt and overwhelming evidence she was exonerated. Good thing it stayed internal this case was far to complicated for the Inspector General. Cover way. I now that the city is safe because of Groomes. The rest of the department had nothing to do with it. But like the old saying goes, " the trains ran on time"

  • Stating the Obvious

    Let me break it down for all you slack-jawed sycophants-

    The top brass is taking a NIMS or Intelligence-led policing class. The people in charge of the class teach for two days and/or assign reading beforehand. Some of the people leading us don't give a shit or can't be relied upon to pay attention. The test is open book, but even then some of the whiteshirts can't hack it and get the test done. Chief Groomes hands out the answers to an open-book test so that the white shirts can finish.

    If it was recruits in the academy, or the average officer, we're told that we've failed and that we need to study up and take it again. If it's a nationally certified class like Standard Field Sobriety, we're told to take the class again and pass it. If you're a white shirt, you get led by the hand to pass the test.

    Moreover, the Chief admitted to an error in judgement, and a subsequent teletype was issued, reiterating the ethics policy. If I admitted, in writing, to a lapse in ethical judgement or a violation of General Orders, then I get issued a written reprimand (PD-750) or a training counseling form (PD-62E) at the bare minimum. If there's not a specific charge to get someone on, the department always charges "Conduct Unbecoming" which is the catch-all charge. It stretches credulity that A/C Groomes isn't guilty of at least Conduct Unbecoming.

    The whole episode reiterates that there are issues of double standards when it comes to enforcing General Orders, lax training standards, and white shirts that can't hack it academically. It's sickening that the department couldn't even at least put on a show of some kind of discipline, be it days or a reprimand. I can't wait for the inevitable lawsuits from those previously accused and terminator for academic dishonesty bringing this case to the forefront.

  • MPD

    @ Stating the obvious
    You won't have to wait too long. The only way for officers to be treated fairly is to take the Dept/City To court and win.... As I've said before, how much money in lawsuits will the city have to pay out to it's officers and citizens before it becomes too much? Lanier, Grooms and the current command staff are a liability this city just can't afford but they don't see it yet.

  • drez

    Not knowing the inside scoop, I always assumed this was reducible to the union taking a shot at someone key to Lanier.
    I do know that Groomes has always been excellent with the community, and that DC residents should be glad she's staying.



  • robert


    Sorry you have no clue whats going on in your police department. I am also a resident and I have good officers assigned in my neighborhood leaving everyday to other police agencies. It must really be nice to be able to call Groomes every time you have a shooting or murder in your neighborhood, thats really nice. WHAT IS GROOMES AND LANIER DOING ABOUT THE SHOOTINGS AND MURDERS, NOTHING ITS ALL PR. Its all PR, they have no clue in leadership in running an agency, and some of our resident believe in the PR bullshit. No wonder we as district redients do not get any repect..

  • seDCdude

    @ Stating the Obvious

    well said, but also be mindful of the GENDER presidence, aside from the WHITE shirts and the white SKIN!

  • seDCdude

    "If anything, I hope the rank-n-file are able to see how stoic and brave AC Groomes handled this storm. They should take notes"

    silliest, most IRRESPONSIBLE opinion yet!

    Ayy Monica, Bush and Cheaney "appeared" stoic and brave when sending young men and women to die in IRAQ for WMD, LIE! KATRINA...YEAH RIGHT!

    Madoff "appeared" stoic and brave when stealing all that $$$...

    PG crook Johnson also "appeared" stoic and brave while being led away in cuffs guessed it...STEALING tax dollars!!

    Obamma appeared stoic and brave when he bailed out Goldman Sachs n em' to the tune of $5trillion of tax payers money.....GTFOH!

    This is exactly what's wrong with this kuntry and its now "entitlist" society/culture/mentality....fake ass dog n pony show representation and beliefs!

    This sends a very resonating and resounding piss poor ass message throughout not only the department, but the youth of DC! We as adults better recognize that those of you who KNOWINGLY fuck up, need to be held accountable....period!