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Officers say wrong textbook hurt promotions

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Three current Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers have filed a suit against the city because they received the wrong textbooks to study for a promotion examination.

In the suit Lincoln Plowman, Tim Motsinger and Rebecca Lake v. City of Indianapolis, filed in Marion Superior Court Tuesday, the officers say as a result of receiving the wrong textbook to prepare for the test, they had lower test scores and their low ranking on the promotional list keeps them from being promoted.

At the time the test was taken in 2006, all three were members of the Marion County Sheriff's Department, which merged with the Indianapolis Police Department to form the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department in 2008. The officers were told they were given the wrong book following the test, but the sheriff's department said their scores and rankings would remain unchanged. The officers believe they are the only three to receive the incorrect textbook.

They are suing for a declaratory judgment that the test was administered improperly and the results should be null, breach of contract, and promissory estoppel. The officers would also like specific performance and substantial damages and any other proper relief. They claim as a result of the lower ranking, they are prevented from peer recognition of a promotion, earning more money from a higher income, and their retirement income will be lower because their pensions will be based on the average of their salaries over the past few years since taking the test.

Lincoln Plowman is current a city-county councilman in Indianapolis and serves as assistant commander for the Investigations Division in IMPD. Tim Motsinger is a lieutenant in the department and announced his candidacy for Marion County Sheriff in 2010; Rebecca Lake is a major in the department.

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