Ten lieutenants in the Memphis Fire Department, including state Rep. Ulysses Jones Jr.
, are threatening to sue the city and fire department over the results of promotional exams.
The firemen have hired civil rights attorney Richard Fields
, who last week outlined the grievances in a letter to Director Chester Anderson
, Mayor Willie Herenton
, and City Attorney Robert Spence
"Before we commence litigation we would like to give the City of Memphis an opportunity to remedy this gross injustice to its employees and hire an outside investigator to review testing procedure," Fields wrote.
Spence said he is preparing a response but the test will not be given over again.
Anderson declined comment.
The firemen want the test results thrown out and all promotions that were based on it rescinded.
They say the study material was incomplete, that some people who scored well got extra help, that some scores were incorrectly transcribed, and that there was at least one instance of cheating where a fireman was allegedly given test materials in advance by a commander.
Fields also attached materials claiming that black firemen did not get a fair shake. On the first scoring, over half of the top 130 scores were made by blacks, but on a rescoring only 32 of the top 130 were black.
Charges of test fraud have previously been made against both the Memphis fire and police departments. In the most recent scandal, copies of a police sergeant's exam were leaked to some candidates.