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State of Connecticut

eomn,trssroN oN Huuaru RrcHrs AND OpponruNrtEs


Southwest Fegion Office - 350 Fairfield Avenue, 6th Floor, BriCgeport, CT 06604
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MERIT AS$ESSIIIIEI{T RFVI EW

NOTICE OF FINAL AGENCY ACTION


COMPLA,II.JT DISfifiI$SHD DUE TO;
f
failure to state a claim frr relief
I
Frivolous on its ftcB
I
Respsndent is exempt
X
f'to Reasonable Possibility

February 1L 2010

Mustafa Salahuddin
56 Stoher Place
Bridgeport, CT. 05606
Cert #9 1-7 1 08-21 33-3937-3479-3670

Re: Case Name: Splgrhuddbv, Citv of Ansonia - Police Department


CHRO Case No-: 1030147
EEOC Case No.: 16A201000211

Pursuant to CONN. GEN. STAT. $ 46a-83(b), the Commission on Human Rights and
Op,podunities iCHRO) is required to conduci a Merit Assessment Review (MAR) c,f all
complaints (except housing). The purpose of the MAR review is to determine whether
the ccnnplaint should be retsined for a full investigaticn or disrnissed.

Determination of the MAR process requires that the executive directorldesignee review:
. The complaint
. Respondent's answers to the complaint
. Respondent's answers to the cornmission's request for information, if any
o Complainant's comments, if any, and

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o Any additional information from either party, if any

Additional information from the respondent shall not be considered unless the
complainant has had fifteen (15) days to review and respond to such information.
See Section 46a-5449a{a) of the REGULATIONS OF CONNECTICUT STATE
AGENCTES{2002}.

The CHRO will construe ihe complaint liberally and in a light most favorable to the
cornplainant. Arnodio v. Cunningha.$, f 82 Conn, 80 (1980). The CHF.O shall retaln
complaints for a full investigation unless one or more of the standards set forth in
CONN. GEI'J. STAT. $ 46a-S3(b) has been satisfied, specifically;

MERIT ASSESSMENT STANDARD I- Does the complaint fail to state a claim for
relief?

The courts have held that a complaint may be dismissed for fa,liure to staie a claim upon
which relief can be granted 'only if it is clear that no relief could be granted under any
set of facts ihai could be proved consistent with the allegations.' Hishon v. Kins &
$pald-tn9,467 U.S. 69, 73 (1984).

1. Does the complaint claim a protacted class basis for the treatment in question?
2. Dces the complaint claim an injury?
3. Does ihe complaint claim an injury based upon the complainant's class basis?
4. Was the complaint filed in a timely manner?

X ffre comptaint states a claim for relief.

I fne cor.aplaint fails to state a clairn for relief and should be dismissed because:

MHRIT ASSES$Iv|ENT STANDARO 2 * ls the complaint frivolous on its face?

Tfie courts have held that a complaint is frivolous when ii lacks an arguable basis either
in law or in fact. Neitzke at Al. v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319 (1989). 'A pleading is frivolous
when it is clearly insufficient on iis face, and does not controvert the material points of
the opposite pleadings, and is presumably imposed fgr the purpose of detay or to
embarrass the opponent." Slack's Law Dictionarv 601 (5'' Ed- 1979).

1. Does the complaint allege a viabte claim in law or fact, which would entitle the
complainant to relieff

X ffre complaint alleges a viable claim.

I ffre complaint is frivolous and should be dismissed because:

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MERIT ASSESSMENT STANDARD 3 - ls the respondent exempt frorn the
provisions of Chapter 814c of the Connecticut General $tatutes?

Tlre CHRO has jurisdiction over the complaint unless the evidence in the file indicates
that the respondent is exempt (additional is$ues of jurisdiction are addressed under the
other standards of review.) A respondent may be exempt if anv of the follo.Iving apptv,

1. Respondent is not a .place of public accommodation." CGNN. GEN. STAT" $ 46a-


63(1 ).
2, Respondent is not a "creditor.' CONN" GHN. STAT. $ 46a-65(2)'
B. Respondent employs less than three employees. CONN. GEN. STAT.$ a6a-51i10).
4, Respondent is not an "employer." CONN. GEN. STAT. $ 4Sa-51{10}.
5, The exenrpticns o'f CONN. GEN. STAT" $ 46a-5{(9} apply to Respcndent.
6. Respondent is a federalgovemment agency.
7, Respondent is a business owned.and operated by a federally recognized lndian tribe.
8. There are other lggal_bases to exempt Respondent from the CHRO's
jurisdiction,

X CHnO has jurisdiction over respondent.

I Respondent is exempt from the CHRO's jurisdiction and the complaint should be
dismissed because:

MERIT ASSE$SMENT STANDARD 4 - ls there no reasonable possibility that


investigating the cornplaint will result in a finding of reasonable cause?
Determination of this standard seeks to evaluate the merits of the complaint as evidence
by tha parties' respective positions. Dismissing a case pursuant to this standard
requires that the file contain evidence that, when construed in a light most favorable to
the complainant, nonetheless requires dismissat, Cases requiring *redibility
determinations $SAULd-nat be dismissed under this standard.

f] There is a reasonable possibility that an investigation would result in a finding of


reasonabie ffiuse.

X lhere is Ng. REASONABT E possibility that investigating the ccmplaint would


resutt in a finCing of reasonable cause, and the complaint should be dismissed
because:

The complainant alleged that he was subject to retaliatlon due to his having
previously oppOsed discriminatory conduct and his race, color and religion were
contributing factors in the respondent's treatment of him. He asserted that since
the start of nis employmenl by the respondent, he has been subject to an ongoing

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pattern of retaliation, with the last incident being one wherein he was subjected to
an internal affairs investigation.

The responderrt denied the allegations of discrimination and admitted that the
complainant was directed to participate in an intemal investigation arising from his
arrest by the Connecticut $tate Police (CSP) and subsequent prosecution within
the Connecticut $uperior Court. The charges involved (53a-125b) have been
pending since July 2008, during which time the complainant has been on a paid
administrative leave. Due to the prior complaints and allegations of retaliation
and biae advanced by ihe compiainant, in May 2009, the respondent souglrt the
services of a 3rd party, CSP, to conduct the internal investigation into the
complainant's criminaf conduct and the complainant was ordered to fully
cooperate with their invastigation. As of the date of the complaint, the CSP
investigative repod had not been issued.

The complainant did not submit any rebuital comment$, nor did he identify any
witnesses who could provide substantive informationlevidence sufficient to
compromise the respondent's detailed and documented answers. .While the
evidentiary burden on the complainant during a merit assessment review is not as
stringent as at a public hearing, even at this stage the complainant must produce
some evidence supporting his prirna facie case and suggesting thai the
respondent's proffered reason is merely a pretext for discrimination." (Crim v.
Commission on Hurnan Rights & Opportunities, Wallace v. Commission on
Human Rights & Opportunities.)

The respondent's an$wers, as confirmed by the attendant documentary


submissions, clearly establish that; the cornplainant was anested by the CSP and
charged with Larceny, the maiter is pending before the Superior Court, the
complainant was placed on a paid administrative leave pending the outcome of
his trial and the CSP conducted intemal investigation and the complainant
remains on a paid administrative leave as of the date of this determination.
Further, with the exception of the complainant's identification of his race, color
religion and prior complaint filing, nothing within the affidavit of complaint, the only
subrnission from the cornplainant, identifies a single comment, action, or other
corroborated fact whiclr would serve to link his cited class bases in any way to the
respondent's actions. As the complainant's employer, the respondeni is clearly
within its rights to conduct an investigation into the complainant's conduct. That
it chose to utilize a 3rd party outside agency to conduct that investigation, further
affirms its proaclive attempts to avoid any issue of bias, retaliation or other
irnproper influence on the outcome of the review' That the complainant is on a
paid administrative leave does not constitute an adverse employment action,
disciplinary action, or other circumstance from which the complainant has
suffered any compensable loss. Sased srr the above and the file contents, there
are no jurisdictional/material issues of fact rvhich have not been addressed. As

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such there is no reasanable basis for believing that further investigation would
resuli in a cause finding.

PISPOSITION:

X Notice is hereby given that pursuant to CONN. GEN. STAT g 46a-83{b}, the
cornmission has disrnissed your cornplaint follcwing its Fderit Asseasrnent Review
process because:

il a. lt failed to state a claim for relief; andlor

I O. lt is frivolous on its face; and/or

[J c, The Respondent is exempt; and/or

X U. There is no reasonable possibility that further investigation will result in a


finding of reasonable cause.

The CHRO's dismissal of a complaint must be supnortp_d by substantial evidence,


including a referense to the record evidence from which the conclusion was based. This
reference should be contained wiihin the narative of any above checked reason for
dismissal.

You may apply for reconsideration, requesting that the CHRO reconsider its decision
dismissing the complaint, as provided in CONN. GEN. $TAT. $ 46a-83(e), Th.e
reconsidPration request ryq$i_be,i3._yyritin[and filed withh.titteen f15] calendar
days fr$$-the-dele o[thif; lsttgtnlthg regional office li$]qd,ir.r the l?tteJl]eAd. lt is
the complainant's responsibility to file a timely request- p_ftjineJylegltegts_*U{il,tn
considered. The request should state the specific grounds upon which the application
is based. The ex"ecutive dlrector may reconsider the dismlssal ol a complaint if:

1) An error of fact or law should be corrected;


2) New evidence has been discovered which materially affects the merits of the
case and which, for good reasons, was not presented during the investigation; or
3) Other good cause for reconsideration has been shown.

$ee $ection 46a-54-62a(e) of the REGULATIONS OF CT STATE AGINCIES (2002i.

A copy of your request for reconsideration musi be mailed to the respondent and
respondent's attorney, if any, at the address lislad at the bottorr,t of thiq-lgttgt. You
should certify that you have done so in your request for reconsideration filed with the
commission.

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lf you do not request reconsideration of the dismissal of your complaint, CHRO will issue
a release of jurisdiction, which grants you the right to file a civil aciion in $uperior Court"

lf CHRO denies your request for reconsideration, you may appeal that decision to the
Superior Court of the State of Connec{icut. Any appeal must strictly comply with all of
the applicable statutory procedures, requiremenis, and time frames. You may wish to
consult an attorney regarding ihe proper filing of an administnative appeal.

Dated and entered into the record of the Otfice of the Commission this 17th of February,
20{0.

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
COfuIMISSIOI.I ON HUI4AN R'GHTS
AND OPPORTUNITIES

Tanya Hughes

Regional ManagerlDesignee

cc:
Aitorney Rob $erafinowicz
38 CentralAvenue
Waterbury, CT. 06702

Chief Kevin Hale


Ansonia Police Depa(ment
253 Main Street
Ansenia, CT. 06401
Ceri: #91 -7 1 08-2133-3937-3479-3663

Atiorney Joseph W. McQuade


Kainen Escalera & Mcl'{ale, PC
21 Oak Street, Suite 601
Hartford, CT. 06106

FEB I9lfiil
MAR 401.D
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