Judge Dismisses Virginia Beach Cheating Scandal Suit

A lawsuit filed by four Virginia Beach firefighters over a promotional cheating scandal has been dismissed because the judge claims the court lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case.

The firefighters, David Scherrer, Richard Ivrving, Alexander Wazlak and Mark Bayly, filed the suit in March after it was confirmed that at least two firefighters were given advanced information about what would be on the tactical portion of the 2017 exam. The plaintiff-firefighters sought to have the 2017 promotional testing process invalidated and re-administered.

Virginia Beach Circuit Court Judge James Lewis ruled today that the court had no basis upon which to decide the case. Under state and local law, the firefighters had a right to grieve the promotional process but that right ended with a final decision by the city manager. Earlier this year, City Manager Dave Hansen agreed with a city personnel board ruling that found the promotion process to be corrupted. Discipline was meted out to those involved but Hansen opted not to throw the test out.

The Virginian Pilot quoted Deputy City Attorney Christopher Boynton as saying:

  • “The department and the city took this very seriously, and they disciplined the people they thought were involved.”
  • “They’ve [the four plaintiff-firefighters] had their due process.”
  • “There is no remedy in the code for them to take this any further.”

Judge Lewis agreed with the city’s argument. Here is more on the story.

Here is a copy of the original complaint: Scherrer v City of Virginia Beach

A copy of the decision will be posed here if one becomes available.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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