Efforts to overhaul the state Probation Department's hiring and promotion system after years of political favoritism have suffered another setback after trial court officials admit they accidentally shredded promotional exams before they could be graded.
The shredding incident comes after 55 percent of probation employees failed a test to win promotion to assistant chief probation officer earlier this year, a failure rate so high that some questioned whether the test was flawed.
Mark Conlon, the court system's director of human resources, tells The Boston Globe it was human error, and he takes responsibility. Thirty-two people have to retake the test.
He says the completed tests, for promotions in the Probate and Family Court, were inadvertently placed with other testing materials that were scheduled to be destroyed for security reasons.