Yesterday, a Fulton County jury found that Atlanta Fire Rescue failed to fully investigate allegations of cheating on a 2010 promotional exam. The suit was brought by three Atlanta firefighters claiming that certain black firefighters were coached and given access to exam materials prior to the test.
The three plaintiffs, two white and one black firefighters, filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of all of the firefighters who took the lieutenant’s exam in April, 2010. They alleged that one study group of five firefighters were provided with answers, and that the city’s Human Resources department performed a superficial investigation that simply covered-up the cheating.
The five accused firefighters all scored within the top 8 on the exam. The city’s attorney criticized the ruling and the plaintiffs’ case claiming it “basically centered on the idea that you couldn’t be an African-American in 2010 and do well on a test.”
Promotions based on the test results have been on hold, and it is unclear at this point whether a retest will be required. The parties are due back in court of March 8, 2012.