By REBECCA HAZEN
Multiple probation officers with the Georgia Department of Community Supervision were recently asked to resign regarding the sharing of test review answers.
The Department’s field office is located in LaFayette, and covers Dade, Catoosa, Chattooga and Walker Counties. The officers work in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit.
It is unclear whether any probation officers from Dade County have been asked to resign.
The Sentinel reached out to Chief Judge Kristina Cook Graham’s Office, but received no comment from Graham.
“She is not making any statements about it. She had nothing to do with it. She does not know the information about it,” Graham’s administrative assistant, Ann Willis said.
“It’s still an ongoing personnel matter. We cannot confirm anything at this time,” Brian Tukes, Department of Community Supervision’s Director of External Affairs, said. “That is as much as we can share until the investigation is concluded.”
McCracken Poston, an attorney with a law office based in Ringgold, is advising some of the officers.
“This was not an exam or a test for their work. It was a training, for the Americans with Disabilities Act. They do the same training every year, they give the same test every year,” Poston said.
According to Poston, the test is open book, and the officers are encouraged to print their answers and keep them for reference. A colleague posted the answers. Over a week passed and nothing was said.
“Nobody said a word until higher up were told, and they came down like Zeus with their lightning bolts. It’s shocking. It wasn’t handled right. It’s the same test that they have had for three or four years.
Poston says that the Department of Community Supervision was a merge of the former Departments of Probation and Parole.
“Everyone that got caught came from the former department of probation. The accusers came from the former department of parole. It has not been a good marriage of those two. I think it was a gotcha moment and they got dozens of other colleagues fired. A little bit of sniping within the agency,” Poston said.
Poston believes that there should be a more consistent policy on training, such as having a proctor monitor the examination.
Poston does not know the exact number asked to resign, but he says he has spoken to 10 or 11 officers.