City Desk

Groomes on Cheating: “I Did What I Did”

Assistant Chief Dianne Groomes was at the center of the allegations that Metropolitan Police Department officers cheated on mandatory exams last year. And now she's got something to say about it: She did it.

Groomes says she tried to help some police brass pass a 50-question test whose deadline was imminent.

That seems to contradict a statement Police Chief Cathy Lanier made to The Washington Post while clearing the popular Groomes of any wrongdoing in December: "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."

But Groomes says she certainly did compromise the test; she compromised the heck out of it. "I printed out the answers, and I sent them out," she says. "I sent it to them and said, 'Handle it.'"

Groomes says the answer sheet she used was available to her because she'd already taken the online exam. Even after City Desk gave Groomes an out by repeating the open-book test defense, the cop wouldn't take it: "Like I said, I did what I did."

She shouldn't have, she realizes, but Groomes sometimes doesn't think: "I react sometimes. I'm impulsive. I just react."

Groomes, who's ready to move on, says she was disciplined for her wrongdoing. "I know a lot of people think, 'You didn't get a reprimand in your jacket,'" she says. "I received an 'adverse action.'" An "adverse action" can be a demotion, a suspension, or a cut in pay.

Groomes says Commander Matthew Klein, who left his command post in the Second District around the time Groomes returned to her position as his superior, turned her in. "I guess he's very, very ethical," Groomes says of Klein.

Klein hasn't returned calls for comment.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • Lee

    That's the second time today that it has been verified that Chief Lanier is a lier. Mayor Gray, it's your move, she has to go!

  • egn

    Mayor Gray and City Council Members:

    Where is the resignation letter from Chief of Police Cathy Lanier? Chief Lanier blatantly lied to the PUBLIC!

    As she stated about members of her department, “We can’t have officers testifying in court when their credibility can’t be trusted, she said." “While I am disappointed in the arbitrators’ decisions we have received to date, I will not back away from my effort to rid the department of members who have engaged in misconduct that has irreparably undermined their credibility.”

    Even if Assistant Chief Groomes received a suspension, her misconduct warranted a termination or demotion, at best. And for the Chief of Police to announce publicly via various media outlets false information and contrary to what Groomes is publicly stating calls for an Inspector General investigation. Plain and simple, Lanier intentionally misled the public in a matter of public concern.

    MPD's entire disciplinary process is in disarray. MPD's illegal disciplinary actions will end up eventually costing taxpayers milions of dollars in lawsuits.
    The inept and equally corrupt Internal Affairs Division also needs to be investigated for they are Lanier's modern day Third Reich.

    One must ask, why did Groomes wait over seven months to make her revelation?

    Everyday more and more scandals are being revealed concerning the mendacity of Lanier.

    Is 80% of what Lanier states to the public true?

    The entire upper command staff of MPD has committed misconduct in the past and present. It's one cover-up after another.

    Read the latest on Pershing Park:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/crime-scene/post/did-dc-police-destroy-evidence-in-pershing-park-case/2011/07/18/gIQAQ0Y1LI_blog.html

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/metro/crime/pershingprotectiveorder.pdf

    MPD Command is CORRUPT and have utilized MPD Internal Affairs Division as a shield to cover-up their wrongdoings through sham investigations.

    Please release the investigative report concerning Groomes now admitted transgressions to the PUBLIC or Lanier, if you have nothing to hide, please forward the investigative report to the IG's office.

  • Soviet Sam

    So when does Matt Klein get to leave Siberia? Now that there's no reasonable doubt that he was exiled as punishment for being "very, very ethical," isn't it time to allow him to come back to Moscow?

  • dumbfounded

    wow, this is incredible

  • truthbtold

    Chief gromes should get commended for telling the truth and speaking out against chief lanier lies and cover-up-

    why is the truth coming out now, what else have they been lying about. the mayor and the department of justice need to investigate or is there a control board to take over??

  • DoBearspoopinTheWoods

    truthbtold - are you an idiot?

  • keisha kole

    i hate a cheater
    she sucks
    http://ethicalfutures.wordpress.com

  • Time For a Change

    Well, once again Chief Lanier is exposed as a LIAR. Her blatant abuse of the public’s blind trust seems to be unrelenting. What makes this particularly frightening is that she appears to lie about things just for the fun of it. It’s like she says to herself, let me see what else I can make those fools believe.

    We must now ask ourselves why Assistant Chief Groomes felt so comfortable committing such a blatantly unethical act with the knowledge of so many command staff personnel. The unscrupulous atmosphere that Chief Lanier encouraged and allowed to permeate throughout her administration speaks volumes about her integrity.

    Chief Lanier and her command staff felt free to intimidate, bully and ruin member’s careers at will without worrying about the consequences of their actions. Make no mistake, by no means am I suggesting that all of the members that were demoted, terminated or disciplined were innocent or were not afforded their due process. What I am saying is that once you start down the road of unethical behavior and get away with it time and time again one begins to think that they are unstoppable and begin to target people just for sport and/or their own personal amusement.

    One person commented that Assistant Chief Groomes should be commended for speaking-out, I disagree. The fact that she chose to stay quiet this long says a lot about her lack of integrity. Knowing that she also enjoyed the blind trust and support of so many residents, Assistant Chief Groomes knew that Chief Lanier was lying when she said that she was not guilty of any wrongdoing and yet remained silent. Some questions that remain in light of this latest revelation are: will any of the command staff personnel involved in this scandal be punished; how many undeserving members will have their rank returned and/or be brought back and paid thousands? Just how many tax dollars will residents have to pay for this blatant abuse of trust this time?

  • GJ

    But wait there's more. Lanier promoted Mike Resse to Commander and he was one of the folks that got the answers. Promoted another to Assistant Chief. Groomes coming clean is because the ship is sinking. Just wait there will be plenty more in the coming weeks.

  • DCNative

    This is inexcusable. It's not that there is obviously corruption in city govt., we Washingtonians are used to that; but unbridled stupidity? It seems as though Groomes is too dim-witted to know when to keep her mouth shut. Lanier was trying to cover for her & she was too obtuse to collaborate? How in the hell did she pass said "mandatory exam?" Someone HAD to be helping her from the inside. Given this & the recent arrests of numerous DC MPD officers for illegal activities, I think Mayor Gray HAS to consider a change at the cabinet level at MPD.

  • ward2concerned citzen

    what is the procedure by the courts and lawyers that prohibits an officer from being a credible person to testify in court when the officer or chief is found to be a cheater and or liar?

  • American Rogue

    Mayor Gray:

    Here is one of many opportunities for you to demonstrate the pillars of your campaign actually meant something to you. Do you remember: Integrity – Character – Leadership?? Your stock answers: 'Missteps' were made; I wasn’t aware of wrongdoing; I cannot recall certain events; I place my trust in my subordinates to do their jobs’ won’t carry the day anymore. At this point in your administration (approximately 198 days worth), you have done very little other than NOT being that candy-cane carrying, grinning cheese monkey Fenty. Take action Mayor Gray or prepare to find other employment!

  • How Much More Can We Take

    How much longer does the mayor and city council members plan to remain mute? Although, they should really feel foolish knowing that the blind allegiance they gave Chief Lanier and Assistant Chief Groomes was misguided, now is not the time for them to run and hide. After being warned on several occasions and asked by several people to at least look at what was going on at MPD, they chose to behave like teen-aged groupies instead of elected officials.

    These overpaid elected officials failed to see that allowing Chief Lanier to ignore court and arbitration rulings simply because she did not agree with them and pick and choose which employment rules and regulations she would follow would lead to further abuses. Her behavior was tantamount to the Broken Window Theory, starting out small and working her way up until things are so far out of control that taxpayers are forced to pay millions of dollars for the resulting lawsuits.

    The mayor and council members should demand that Chief Lanier and her entire command staff resign immediately, forgoing any retirement benefits since they failed to do the job they were hired to do. If they feel they are entitled to benefits, let them sue like they forced others to do. If they win their suit, continuously appeal the decision, after-all, that’s what they do. After that, tender YOUR resignations for failing to do what you were elected to do. We have endured more than enough humiliation with YOUR antics must we now hang our heads in shame because our police chief can’t be trusted to tell the truth, even when under oath; or feels free to lie when questioned by the public concerning the actions of one of her trusted command staff members. We deserve better.

  • CarNote

    How Much More Can We take, AKA - WAaaaaaaaaaaaa....Hwaaaaa.......sniff, sniff...whhaaaaaaa....

  • michael soulsby

    I guess all the officers that have been fired over the years in the academy will now get thier jobs back. Don't forget the City Council menmbers that lied and said she did nothing wrong. The City and the Police Department are run by criminals!

  • egn
  • egn
  • Whatever…

    Sadly, this story is losing legs and not being picked up anywhere else. I thought this would be a much bigger deal.

  • stinkinthinkin

    Do not mess with the blond ones or the Gray, Browns,Green(e),but the Orange is a lil forbidden.

  • Really

    Vicent Gray's Public Safety Plan:

    http://www.vincegrayformayor.com/files/gray-publicsafety-plan.pdf

    Scroll down to "Increased Transparency and Greater Public Oversight of Police Operations."

  • Antic

    Two blondes were in a parking lot trying to unlock the door of their car with a coat hanger.
    First Blonde (Groomes):
    "I can't seem to get this door unlocked!

    Second Blonde (Lanier):
    Well you better hurry up. It's starting to rain and the top is down!

    You know what they say about blondes...

  • time2go

    @ Antic,

    A blonde cop stops blonde motorist and asks for her driving license.

    The Motorist scuffles around in her purse and can't find it. She says to the cop, "I must have left it at home officer."

    The cop says, "Well, do you have any kind of identification?" The motorist scuffles around in her purse again, and finds a pocket mirror.

    She looks at it and says to the cop, "All I have is this picture of myself." The cop says, "Let me see it, then." So the blonde motorist gives the mirror to the blonde cop, who looks at it, and replies, "Well, if I had known you were a police officer, I wouldn't have even pulled you over. You can go now."

  • http://www.keithjarrell2012.com Keith Jarrell

    Diane Groomes is one of the most honest and hard working people I have ever met. My journey in life has thus far allowed me the privilege of shaking hands with Presidents, Vice Presidents, heads of state, Minister's of Defense from four countries, Governors, Miss America's, First Ladies, Wives of Vice-Presidents, Mayor's councilmembers, Arch Bishops, Cardinals, clergy from many denominations, Broadway producers, Television Producers, Retail designers, President's of Companies that do over one hundred million dollars, millionaires, Ambassadors, and their wives, International designers, and plenty of good 'ol folk. I am considered a good judge of character and Diane Groomes is a solid as they come. I consider it a privilege and an honor to know her for more than 11 years and to have walked the streets with he in Ne, Se, and NW of this city. Time and time again and will no doubt do so again. I walked H Street, NE with her years ago to monitor single sale beer, and the use of black plastic bags, and as Chair of ANC 6A, watched her give testimony in front of then ABCC Panel and she never once, NOT ONE TIME has faltered from the high level of honesty and integrity that she is known for throughout this city and among many Federal agencies. So get off your pompous high house and come to grips with it and the sooner you do the better. Diane is capable of doing anything she sets her mind to and doing it well, very very very well.
    That you can take to the bank and rest assured that those funds will clear instantaneously.
    God bless her and her kind, insightful eyes on the crime in this city.

    Keith Jarrell

  • GJ

    Keith, the Diane Groomes that walked H Street is very diffrent then the political Groomes today. I'v seen her handy work first hand and she gets away with it because she has folks like you snowed

  • Sweetness

    @ GJ ^5 - you speak the truth! Let's see how the DC taxpayers feel about her saying "I react sometimes. I'm impulsive. I just react." That alone will end up costing taxpayers millions alone in lawsuit settlements because of her decision-making.

    Last time she spoke publicly (back in November) she confessed to her wrongdoing. Now, she is confessing again, but to what, one must ask?

    Breaking NEWS is coming soon...

  • DONTHAVEMEFOOLED

    kieth jarrell your a fu-king idiot

  • Whatever…

    Keith Jarrell - check out his basement. It puts the lotion in the basket or it gets the hose.

  • NatsFan

    Whatever is right - this story is dead. I also thought it would be much bigger than this. people in DC's memory lasts 24 hours, then back to usual business.

    I guess the bad guys win, again.

  • DC Trusted Servant

    @Keith Jarrell
    "I am considered a good judge of character" DELUSIONAL
    "So get off your pompous high house" LOOK IN THE MIRROR
    "You can take to the bank and rest assured that those funds will clear instantaneously" UNLESS THEY ARE YOUR FUNDS, IN WHICH CASE THEY WILL BOUNCE FROM HERE TO HELL, CHECK THE PUBLIC RECORD FOR MORE DETAILS

  • 4glory

    DC Trusted Servant, please share with us the details of the public record.

  • Howmuchmore

    So City Paper, the ball is now in your court. You have been provided comments about MPD is run but teh question is will you take the initiative to find out what is fact and what is fiction? We can all vent like there is no tomorrow but you have the power to request under the Freedon of Information certain items that could prove (because most of it is too obvious) what is being stated by members. As stated by the comments, it is pathetic at the double standard that is being set by our agency. As a member of management, I don't have a issue with the fact that discipline for us should be more severe since we have rank but ONLY when discipline is warranted. Here we have a clear cut case of a ASSISTANT CHIEF OF POLICE who not only admitted to asssiting others of rank with a test (and given their rank you would think they would have enough brains to pass the test anyway), but now has come out publically and defiantly and stated that she did it. Ok, so Lanier can't address the speaking out part because it would be retaliatory HOWEVER what we now have is a person who has probably gotten a paid vacation while sitting at home, more or less boasted about it, and has brought DISCREDIT TO THIS AGENCY! Who is pulling the I.S. numbers now like the 5th floor is so quick to do on everybody else?

    Also, City Paper, when you are obtaining your information through FOIA, find out how many folks were terminated and brought back and how much it cost the city. Also talk to them about how much of a bind it put them and their families for no reason. Then top it off with seeing how many of these terminations came at the hands of one person who deemed that the trial boards ruling to retain the member and give them a written censure or suspension was null and void and took it upon themselves to terminate the member.....sounds like a violation of Chapter 16 of the DPM to me. Now I ask, why have trial boards? These days they are a waste of time. I sat there as a witness for a friend of mine on a joke of a case and then to see it end the way it did told me that due process is DEAD.

    Citizens of DC, transperency won't work for your police department because with all the dog and pony stuff that is being thrown at you to cloud your vision (like AHODS), you will never see the light.

  • Howmuchmore

    Oh, BTW, we here at MPD in the basement level heard that while Chief Groomes was off, she kept her departmental issued phone. If this was supposed to be a period when she was suspended, sounds like there is a violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act.....

    Also, to have a ASSISTANT CHIEF OF POLICE say that she is impulsive is nothing but insane. That right there tells you that when the right buttons are pushed and she feeds into whatever she is told then watch out world.....some underling is going to feel the agony and frustration of doing their job legitimately but someone yells "PULL NUMBERS"!

  • REALtalk

    How is it that certain Council members can speak out against Councilmember Harry Thomas but are MUTE on Lanier and Groomes misconduct?

    Also, when this first came out last November, you had Mendelson, Evans and Graham(consiglieres) for Lanier and Groomes PUBLICLY SPEAKING OUT IN SUPPORT OF GROOMES DESPITE HER PUBLIC CONFESSION OF WRONGDOING IN THIS MATTER EVEN BEFORE AN INVESTIGATION WAS INITIATED.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/19/AR2010071904938.html

    I guess Groomes said "I react sometimes. I'm impulsive. I just react" when she retaliated against employees in the above link.

    Guess what citizens of DC - MORE LAWSUITS AGAINST MPD, LANIER and GROOMES ARE COMING.

  • visitor fromvirginia

    WHO IS CHARGED WITH POLICING YOUR TOP BRASS WHEN THEY COMMITT AWFUL VIOLATIONS? CAN THE TROOPS VOTE FOR A RELACEMENT CHIEF? WHO IS NEXT IS LINE WITH INTERGITY, MR. KLIEN MAYBE?

  • Howmuchmore

    You know, at one time it looked like the trials and tribulations that we were getting into were about race. Then gender. Now it is crystal clear. It is about a dislike for those who are true blue and go against the grain trying to make MPD the best that it can be. It is folks like us that end up on the Friday teletypes because we do what we do with Honor and Pride. Something that we never had to be taught because it came from within.

    I am proud of being the Police in the District of Columbia and no matter how high I go and what color my shirt becomes, I will be true blue on the inside!

    JUST LIKE A SMURF!

  • Blondie

    http://www.myfoxdc.com/dpp/news/dc/dc-assistant-chief-diane-groomes-on-leave-amid-cheating-allegations-111910

    And after her very public admission of wrongdoing, she is allowed to maintain the rank of assistant chief. Wow, a leaderless department. Leaders should set the example. And to compound matters Chief of Police Kat Lanier misled the citizens regarding the investigative outcome of this matter. Chief Kat Lanier and
    Assistant Chief Groomes (Jaime Sommers) both violated the public's trust.

    Why haven't they both resigned? They have caused a multitude of police officers to be terminated illegally over the past four years.

  • Ned

    Wow, just wow. Why haven't we heard about this before?

  • MPDgrunt

    The subjects of this administration will for forget about this in a week. I've noticed why Cathy's approval is so high: People are clueless. They think what makes a good chief is a public face unnecessarily showing up at crime scenes and handing out presents at Christmas. The peasants will truly fall for anything, if the wrapping is shiney enough...

  • Sweetness

    Can someone please reset the "LIAR ALERT" button?

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/crime-scene/theola-labbe-debose/dc-police-official-groomes-ret.html

    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.

    But Groomes says she certainly did compromise the test; she compromised the heck out of it. "I printed out the answers, and I sent them out," she says. "I sent it to them and said, 'Handle it.'"

    Groomes says the answer sheet she used was available to her because she'd already taken the online exam. Even after City Desk gave Groomes an out by repeating the open-book test defense, the cop wouldn't take it: "Like I said, I did what I did."

  • Ruby

    Well, all I can say is that I am very disappointed with her behavior lately, she does lie. Things are going on regarding her treatment towards Latinos and they are not happy. She is doing this behind closed doors but there are leaks everywhere. She should be careful of her actions. People are watching. This is very sad for us.

  • NatsFan

    Hey, what's the name of the officer who's only job is to bring her ice tea 3 times a day?

  • Just.Curious

    When will Chief Lanier be held accountable? Lanier said no one cheated and that this was an open book test. Groomes stated otherwise--in the beginning and now. The Chief CANNOT be trusted. What's happening here? Does Lanier have to hit us over the head with a brick and state "hey, I'm a liar--can't you see that".

...