Court Scraps Essay Portion Of Exam For Probation Department

Trial court officials have agreed to throw out the results of an essay exam that most state Probation Department test takers failed.

The tests were supposed to be a more objective way to judge candidates for jobs and promotions after former probation commissioner John O'Brien was convicted of running a system that rewarded politically connected candidates over the more qualified.

The Boston Globe reports the scores will now be "considered" during candidate evaluations for those who are seeking promotions.

Court administrator Harry Spence said Wednesday any candidate who passed the multiple choice section — about 80 percent of them — would be eligible for promotions.

Twelve acting assistant chief probation officers were facing possible demotions and pay cuts after failing the essay portion of the March test.


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