Police promotions in limbo as judge continues to weigh decision about promotional exam

Barry Chin/Globe Staff

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Boston officials are frustrated that a federal judge has not ruled on a case contesting the fairness of the police promotional exam, even though the case was heard more than two years ago.

More than 1,600 Boston police officers who are eligible to take the exam remain in career limbo because the department is reluctant to promote them in case Judge George O’Toole determines the test discriminates against some minorities, as several black and Latino officers have alleged.

The pending lawsuit “continues to cause uncertainty as to the process the city can and should follow in the selection of candidates,” Laurence J. Donoghue, an attorney for the city, wrote to O’Toole on May 14. Donoghue made a similar plea to the judge nearly a year ago.

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