Whether the Brown story turns out to be true or not, remains to be seen. However, this case brings up the practice of local politicians circumventing the civil service laws to take care of their own. A practice called zone scoring. If you or one of your children are on a list, and want to know why the offspring of your neighborhood political hacks keep getting called, we have the answer. I received this comment from a former law enforcement professional (who, incidentally scored #1 on the Buffalo police exam when he took it.) I hope you take the time to read it. He knows his stuff and describes exactly how the political scum rigg the system to take care of their little sewer rats...
There was a time when the police/fire/teaching jobs were deemed so important that they were the only city jobs attainable void of politics. In theory, even "outsiders," without any local political allegiances, had as much chance of securing employment than even the most loathsome South Buffalo political hack. Nevertheless, once the well-paid manufacturing jobs left Buffalo and Western New York in droves, the politicians turned the high unemployment situation into a good thing for them.
The best paid and most coveted city jobs, like police, fire and education now were slowly but surely becoming politicized. However, the main obstacle for the local political bosses was New York State's fairly stringent Civil Service Laws. Nevertheless, Tony Masiello and his band of burglars found a way around this by introducing something called "zone scoring." What zone scoring is, is when a candidate's test is scored, his result is placed in a zone or what is also sometimes called a "band." Therefore, if Candidate A scored 99.9%, both he and Candidate B who scored, say 91.1%, are both placed in Band 1, thus making them both at par with one another for hiring. Prior to the introduction of zone scoring, candidates were selected numerically off of a list. So as jobs became available, the top 30 on the list would be called by the numbers of exactly where they placed on the list. Number 1 was hired first then number 2, then number 3, etc, etc.
The city unions all fought against the zone scoring in court, but the judges, themselves all part of the political patronage system, overwhelmingly turned down these union lawsuits. The media, at the time, basically ignored it without giving any public hearing to the implications of such a corruptible system. If you remember back to the 1990s, the Buffalo Snews gave Dumb Tony a million passes. They rarely criticized him for his first 10 years in office largely because they backed him to the hilt because of their seething spite for Jimmy Griffin and his political machine.
So in the end, everyone was cheated. However, it was the citizens of Buffalo who were cheated the most by no longer getting the best possible candidates for sensitive positions of authority. I'm not even talking about Judge Curtin's Affirmative Action mandates here, they're bad enough on their own, but this zone scoring is something else altogether. Zone scoring insures these politicians now have an army of loyal drones in key positions of authority who are forever indebted to the local political machine. It means they get to put in whom they want for the next police/fire academy classes and who they will have teaching in the city schools. The sad thing is the citizens and the local media, who are supposed to be the watchdog for these citizens, let these scum politicians get away with this cheap trick, and in the end we all lost. So sad.