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Assistant D.C. Police Chief Diane Groomes placed on administrative leave

November 22, 2010 - 10:38 AM
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Assistant D.C. Police Chief Diane Groomes, the commander of the patrol division and one of the department's top brass, has been implicated in a cheating scandal involving an annual test administered to some members of the command staff.

(Photo: MPD)

Assistant D.C. Police Chief Diane Groomes, the commander of the patrol division and one of the department's top brass, has been implicated in a cheating scandal involving an annual test administered to some members of the command staff.

Groomes was put on administrative leave Friday while the department’s internal affairs division investigates the allegations. In an e-mail to ABC7 News, Groomes declined to discuss the allegations, but said "I'm sorry … for my actions and bad judgement."

Police Chief Cathy Lanier has ordered the old test results thrown out, and said a new test will be developed.

D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans today sent a letter to the chief saying he still supports Groomes, and a variety of sources within the department said many within the department still support her.

"Chief Groomes is an incredible asset to MPD, Ward 2, and the entire District," wrote Evans. "While she may have experienced a lapse in judgment, we cannot allow this incident to overshadow her contributions to our neighborhoods, which simply cannot be overstated."

Evans said residents and civic leaders have displayed “overwhelming” support of the assistant chief.

"My email and voicemail are full of messages of support from around the Ward," Evans wrote in the letter. "There is no doubt that her impact in Ward 2 has been significant and that residents are appreciative of her hard work and dedication."

But Kris Baumann, a top official in the Fraternal Order of Police, which has often butted heads with the department, called the allegations concerning.

"If you are at a point where your police officials are willing to cheat on examinations or tests that have info that's necessary for them to do their job," Baumann told TBD, "that should be a real warning call to everyone."

D.C. mayor-elect Vincent Gray wouldn’t comment on Groomes.

Groomes oversees the department's Patrol Services and School Security Bureau. It includes hundreds of officers assigned to the department's stations in the seven police districts. Asst. Chief Alfred Durham has taken over Groomes’ post, at least temporarily.

ORIGINAL UPDATES

UPDATE 9:45 p.m.: The suspension of Assistant D.C. Police Chief Diane Groomes has been received with shock, support, concern, and a prominent  "no comment."

After Groomes apologized, sources within the department insisted Groomes is one of the hardest working members of the force. Along with community leaders, they say they are shocked.

But Kris Baumann of the Fraternal Order of Police calls the allegations concerning.

"If you are at a point where your police officials are willing to cheat on examinations or tests that have info that's necessary for them to do their job," Baumann said to TBD News. "That should be a real warning call to everyone."

Asked about the Groomes suspension, D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent Gray said he has no comment.

Groomes oversees the department's Patrol Services and School Security Bureau. It includes hundreds of officers assigned to the department's stations in the seven D.C. police districts.

The department's Internal Affairs Division is investigating the allegations while Groomes is on leave.

UPDATE 6:39 p.m.: In an e-mail to ABC7's Cynnè Simpson, Groomes declined to discuss specific allegations, but said "I'm sorry . . . for my actions and bad judgement."

ORIGINAL STORY, 5:16 p.m.: Assistant D.C. Police Chief Diane Groomes has been placed on administrative leave, an MPD spokesperson announced Friday.

Groomes, the commander of the Patrol division and one of the department's top brass, has been implicated in a cheating scandal involving a test administered to some members of the command staff, according to the statement.

The test is part of the commanders' annual in-service training.

Assistant Chief Alfred Durham has taken over her post while the allegations are investigated by the internal affairs department.

According to the statement, Chief Cathy Lanier has ordered the old test results thrown out. A new test will be developed.

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