Resignation of former major reviewed for bias

March 08, 2000|By Tim Craig | Tim Craig,SUN STAFF

The city's Community Relations Commission launched a judicial proceeding yesterday to determine if a former black police major was discriminated against when he resigned in 1997.

Maj. Goldie S. Phillips Jr., a 24-year-veteran, resigned June 1, 1997, amid allegations that he leaked answers on two departmental promotional exams.

In four hours of testimony yesterday at CRC headquarters downtown, some witnesses portrayed the department as out to get Phillips while others defended police commanders' actions.

Phillips is seeking reinstatement as a major, back pay and increased retirement benefits.

Phillips had sought to move people from other units to his staff in the Crimes Against Persons section. After his supervisor, former Col. Steven Crumrine, told him the moves violated policy, the two agreed to a test for the candidates.

Crumrine, now director of corporate security for Rouse Co. in Columbia, inserted some false answers in the answer sheet and gave one to Phillips. One applicant, Patrol Officer Sharon L. Goodman, gave answers that matched those on the answer sheet, prompting investigation. The department ruled that Phillips leaked answers to the officer.

Sgt. Andre Bonaparte testified that former Police Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier ordered Phillips to take polygraph tests. Phillips failed the tests and was told by commanders to resign or face demotion or have the case heard by a department trial board.

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