A federal judge ruled Wednesday the City of Cleveland does not have to allow police recruits to test the state certification exam this week.
A group of nine police recruits accused of cheating on academic work at the city's police academy asked the court to force the city to allow them to take the test, claiming a commander's decision not to let them take the exam amounted to finding them guilty until proven innocent.
In all, 15 recruits are under investigation for cheating. The city said it's in the process of scheduling disciplinary hearings for the accused.
In court filings, attorneys for the recruits claimed: "Unfortunately, the recruits have been left completely in the dark and career-altering decisions have been made without any regard to their due process rights."
But Judge James Gwin ruled the recruits did not have a right to take the test and that not allowing them to take the exam this week may be inconvenient, but would not permanently harm them.
"It was a difficult decision, but we knew it was going to be an uphill battle at this stage of the game," said Eric Henry, the attorney representing the recruits. "It's just something we have to continue to move forward from and try to get their names cleared and move on so they can put this behind them and move on with their careers."
Henry is hopeful that if the recruits are cleared of the cheating allegations they will be able to take the certification exam.
What's not clear is whether or not the group would have to redo the six-month police academy first.
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