The Honorable Eric H.Holder
March 9, 2012Page 2
fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans, your departmentundermines the civil rights of federal employees who bring forth employmentdiscrimination claims. Habitually, DOJ avails all RMOs free and unconditional legalcounsel, suppresses
witness evidence, ignores RMOs’ involvement in prohibited
personnel practices, and motions the court via summary judgment to dismiss an
employee’s complaint. We find such practices inconsistent with the Civil Division’s roleto resolve “fairly” those claims which have merit.
The pending employmentdiscrimination case of
Lee vs. Locke (Civil Action No. 11-0358)
exemplifies DOJ’smisplaced focus on “winning” over “
preserving the civil rights of the victim of
employment discrimination and retaliation.”
Presently, DOJ defends the actions of two former U.S. Department of Commerceofficials, Mr. Fred Fanning and Ms. Jana Brooks in a lawsuit brought by Plaintiff EdgarD. Lee. Mr. Lee, a Gulf War Veteran and an African-American, asserts that Commerceofficials took unlawful actions against him, including exposing him to asbestos after heengaged in protected EEO activity.
A separate investigation by the agency’s Office of
Inspector General as well as an investigation by the Office of Special Counsel sustained
Plaintiff Lee’s claims ab
out Mr. Fanning and Ms. Brooks exposing him to unsafe levelsof asbestos. Nevertheless, DOJ continues to defend the injurious actions of these RMOsin the underlying civil case filed by Mr. Lee.Similarly,
DOJ’s defense of RMOs in
the employment discrimination case of
Holmes- Martin, v. Sebelius, Civil Action No. 07-2128
DOJ’s misplaced focus on“winning.”
In this race discrimination case, DOJ represented the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials
despite the apparent violations of meritprinciples (5 USC 2301). As with the
Lee v Locke
case, we find such practices of DOJdefending known personnel violations inconsisten
t with the Civil Division’s role toresolve “fairly” those claims which have merit.
RECOMMENDATION TWO: Mandate through executive order that executivebranch agencies comply with Federal Civil Rights laws and that agency officialsfound guilty of violations be disciplined.
Despite the enactment of the Notification and Federal Employee Anti-discrimination andRetaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR) into protection laws, no mandatory discipline existsfor civil rights violations. In many instances, responsible management officials (RMOs)found guilty of discrimination are never held accountable. Take for example the case of
Pierre vs. Salazar, EEOC No. 570-2008-00625X
. The case involves Craig Littlejohn, ahigh-ranking official at the U.S. Department of Int
erior’s Office of Solicitor, who moved
African-American employees under his supervision out of the headquarters office.Littlejohn replaced African-American employees with non-African-Americancontractors; referred to African-
American subordinates as “
” and interfered with
Holmes-Martin, v. Sebelius
court proceedings disclosed how HHS official Debbie Ridgely and othersengaged in favoritism and political influence when they detailed Clarence Randall, a burrowed in Republicanwho never applied for a federal job into the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization(OSDBU). A
fter “detailing” Randall (White/male
HHS officials later firedHolmes-Martin (Black/female/GS-14). Prior to her termination, Ms. Holmes-Martin had served as theOSDBU
and had received outstanding ratings for supporting HHS business programs.Testimony disclosed Ms. Holmes-Martin had demonstrated exemplary service over her 25 years with thefederal government.