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Case 3:12-cv-01533-GAG Document 1

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF PUERTO RICO

ALWIN CAMACHO-MORALES Plaintiff v. Civil Rights Violations HCTOR PESQUERA; EMILIO DAZ COLON; JOS FIGUEROA SANCHA; Jury Trial Requested JOS LUIS RIVERA DAZ; COL. LEOVIGILDO VZQUEZ; COL. REYNALDO BERMDEZ; 1LT. JOS RIVERA ALICEA; 2LT. DIGNO CARTAGENA; YADIRA RIVERA PABN; GUILLERMO SOMOZA COLOMBANI; ALL IN THEIR PERSONAL AND OFFICIAL CAPACITIES; COMMONWEALTH OF PUERTO RICO; INSURANCE COMPANY ABC, JOHN DOE, RICHARD ROE, AND DAVID DOE, Defendants VERIFIED COMPLAINT TO THE HONORABLE COURT: COMES NOW the Plaintiff ALWIN CAMACHO-MORALES (or the Civil No. _________(___)

Plaintiff), through the undersigned attorney, and respectfully states, alleges and prays as follows: I. I.1. JURISDICTION

Jurisdiction is invoked under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983. This civil

action arises under the First and Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and laws of the United States of America.
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I.2.

Supplemental jurisdiction is invoked under 28 U.S.C. sec. 1367 for

the cause of action invoked under the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. I.3. Venue is appropriate in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. sec.

1391, as this action is brought in the judicial district in which the unlawful actions against Plaintiff occurred. II. II.1. THE PARTIES

The Plaintiff, Alwin Camacho-Morales, is a United States citizen,

resident of the State of Florida and was a public-career employee until July 11, 2011, working at the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) as an agent. II.2. Co-defendant Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is a duly constituted

governmental entity with the authority to be sued. The Commonwealth is at present, or has been at times relevant, the employer of Plaintiff and all Defendants. It is sued only for declaratory, injunctive and back-front paymonetary relief. II.3. Co-defendant Guillermo Somoza is the current Secretary of Justice

(Puerto Ricos Attorney General) and direct supervisor of the Puerto Rico Police Chief. He is sued in his individual and official capacities for declaratory, injunctive and back-front pay-monetary relief. II.4. Co-defendant Hctor Pesquera is the current Puerto Rico Police

Chief. He is sued in his individual and official capacities for declaratory, injunctive and back-front pay-monetary relief.

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II.5.

Co-defendant Emilio Daz Coln, was the Puerto Rico Police Chief

until March 29, 2012. He is sued in his individual and official capacities for declaratory, injunctive and back-front pay-monetary relief. II.6. Co-defendant Jos Figueroa Sancha was the Puerto Rico Police

Chief and Deputy Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI San Juan Field Office. He had personal knowledge of the facts that are base for the present complaint. Furthermore, he has personal knowledge of the undercover labor performed by Plaintiff before being appointed PRPD Chief because he was the second in command of the local FBI office. He is sued in his individual and official capacities for declaratory, injunctive and back-front pay-monetary relief. II.7. Co-defendant Jos Luis Rivera Daz, is the current Associated

Chief serving as the second in command of the Police Department. Has serves as interim chief on two occasions. He has personal knowledge of the facts that are the base for the present complaint. He is sued in his individual and official capacities for declaratory, injunctive and back-front pay-monetary relief. II.8. Co-Defendant Leovigildo Vzquez is the current Chief of Field

Operation for the PRPD. He has personal knowledge of the facts that are the base for the present complaint. He holds the rank of Colonel, which is the

highest rank an officer can achieve. He is sued in his individual and official capacities for declaratory, injunctive and back-front pay-monetary relief. II.9. Co-Defendant Reinaldo Bermdez is the current Chief of Strategies

Operations for the PRPD. He has personal knowledge of the facts that are the base for the present complaint. He holds the rank of Colonel, which is the

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highest rank an officer can achieve. He is sued in his individual and official capacities for declaratory, injunctive and back-front pay-monetary relief. II.10. Jos Rivera Alicea is the current Director of the Strategic Operations Division. He has personal knowledge of the facts that are the base for the present complaint. He holds the rank of First Lieutenant, which is a supervisory/management position. He is sued in his individual and official capacities for declaratory, injunctive and back-front pay-monetary relief. II.11. Co-Defendant Digno Cartagena is the FBI Task Force coordinator, who serves as a liaison officer between the PRPD and the FBI. He has personal knowledge of the facts that are the base for the present complaint. He holds the rank of Second Lieutenant, which is a supervisory/management position. He is sued in his individual and official capacities for declaratory, injunctive and back-front pay-monetary relief. II.12. Co-Defendant Yadira Rivera Pabn is a civilian employed by the Puerto Rico Police Department as the Director of Human Resources. She is sued in his individual and official capacities for declaratory, injunctive and back-front pay-monetary relief. II.13. Co-Defendant Insurance Company ABC has a policy in favor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, which covers claim contingencies such as that posed by the instant case. II.14. Co-Defendants John Doe, Richard Roe, and David Doe are unidentified defendants that could be substituted during discovery proceedings pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

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III.

PLEADINGS

III.1. This is a civil action filed by Alwin Camacho-Morales, a former career employee of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico working at the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) as an agent, alleging that following his work as undercover agent under the supervision of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during Operation Guard Shack (or OGS) where dozens of police officers were arrested on corruption charges, he was fired under retaliation for his denouncements of matters of public concern. III.2. Plaintiff commenced his service in the PRPD on June 26, 1996. III.3. During the years as a law enforcement officer Plaintiff has held various positions including work as an undercover agent and as a member of the Tactical Operations Unit where he served at the Puerto Rico Telephone Company (PRTC) and Vieques protests. III.4. In sum, Plaintiff has had an exemplary career serving wherever he was needed for more than fifteen years. III.5. During the spring of 2008, an agent from the Puerto Rico Special Investigations Bureau (Negociado Especial de Investigaciones in Spanish; hereinafter SIB) visited Plaintiff at the CompUSA store in Guaynabo where Plaintiff worked part-time as a Loss-Prevention Manager. III.6. The SIB agent asked Plaintiff if he knew about illegal activities taken by fellow police officers at the PRPD. III.7. The SIB agent added that an investigation was underway and asked Plaintiff if he was interested to work undercover as a corrupt officer.

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III.8. During that meeting, the SIB agent was accompanied by another officer, who Plaintiff later learned that was FBI Special Agent Norman Quilichini. III.9. At that moment Plaintiff did not provide an answer. until a few days later that Plaintiff accepted. III.10. Plaintiff was brief on the activities to be performed, which were relating to corruption investigation within the PRPD. III.11. Within days Plaintiff commenced his undercover work posing as a corrupt official offering fellow cops large sums money on behalf of local drugtraffickers in exchange for transporting the drug to another location within the island of Puerto Rico. III.12. For the following two years Plaintiff was virtually living a double life. Working his regular 8-hour shift as a police officer and his part-time job at CompUSA, in addition to his undercover work, which could easily take him an additional 8 to 10 hours a day, plus weekends. III.13. As a result, for eighteen months Plaintiff performed dozens of undercover drug transactions with active police officers. III.14. All the transactions were recorded and conducted under the supervision of FBI agents. The evidence obtained as product of his undercover labor was determinant for a magistrate to issue more than one hundred arrestwarrants. It was not

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III.15. Consequently, on October 9, 2010 the FBI executed the arrests warrants during what it called Operation Guard Shack, the biggest anticorruption operation in the Bureaus history. III.16. Plaintiff later learned that the very next day he was

administratively transferred from the Bayamn Precinct to the Police Academy in Gurabo, for no apparent reason, but for retaliation of Plaintiffs

denouncements as a special undercover agent, which involved a great matter of public concern. III.17. This transfer was done in a continuous retaliation against Plaintiff and as a mitigation mechanism in order to avoid Plaintiff to expose more corrupt officer from Bayamn. In sum, the PRPD and Defendants in order to cover the corruption in progress, retaliated against Plaintiff by his

denouncements of matters of public concern. III.18. On a press conference the next day, the Puerto Rico Police Chief Co-Defendant Jos Figueroa-Sancha, publicly declared that he had knowledge of the investigation, since it started two years earlier when he was serving as the Deputy Special Agent-in-Charge at the FBI San Juan Field Office. He

added that he knew about the work being done by Plaintiff and the other undercover agents. III.19. Furthermore, in that same press conference held at the Fortaleza Governor Luis Fortuo stated that he was also being kept informed of the developments of the investigation.

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III.20. The Governor emphatically indicated that the PRPD officers who conducted the undercover work are real heroes, acknowledging that it was them who deserved the biggest credit and gratitude. III.21. For security reasons days before the arrests were made the FBI Special Agent responsible for supervising the undercover activities ordered Plaintiff and his family to a hotel at an undisclosed location. III.22. Plaintiff and his family remained in such location for a period of seven weeks. III.23. Due to Plaintiff sudden disappearance, he was fired from CompUSA, he later had to explain the situation to the general manager and after a tumultuous process he has re-hired. III.24. Upon returning to Puerto Rico, Plaintiff was ordered by the FBI no to stay at his house because there were confirmed death threats against him and his family. III.25. Consequently, he moved to his mothers house because he had no other place to go. Thus, endangering his mother and brothers lives. III.26. In April, 2011 Plaintiff in a clear retaliation by his denouncements of great public concern that led to corruption indictments in United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, he was assigned by Defendants

to the PRPD General Headquarter (HQ) on Roosevelt Avenue in Hato Rey. III.27. Although Plaintiff begged Lieutenant Digno Cartagena and Special Agent Norman Quilichini to intervene in order for him not to be assigned to HQ, due to the fact that there were officers that were recorded as part of the

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undercover work but were not charged, and therefore they knew about Plaintiffs identity and undercover work, Defendants in retaliation ordered his transfer to Hato Rey. III.28. Furthermore, on February 14, 2011, FBI-SAIC Luis Fraticelli sent a letter to PRPD Chief Figueroa-Sancha requesting Plaintiff and two other agents to be transfer permanently the Joint Operations Division, which works as part of a Task-Force with the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies. Nevertheless, the Plaintiff was ordered to report to the PRPD HQ. III.29. Instead of being recognized and received as a hero, Plaintiff obtained nothing but insulting and disrespectful actions from his superiors, Co-Defendants Jos Luis Rivera Daz, Col. Leovigildo Vzquez, Col. Reynaldo Bermdez, 1Lt. Jos Rivera Alicea, 2Lt. Digno Cartagena, as well as from various high-ranking officers. III.30. The insults and derogatory comments in retaliation by CoDefendants Jos Luis Rivera Daz, Col. Leovigildo Vzquez, Col. Reynaldo Bermdez, 1Lt. Jos Rivera Alicea, 2Lt. Digno Cartagena, created a severe hostile environment for Plaintiff to the point that he did not feel welcomed at his place of work. III.31. Plaintiff received information from his former FBI contact agent concerning confirmed threats against him and his family. III.32. Consequently, Plaintiff proceeded to meet with Captain Rivera to inform this serious situation and to obtain approval for more drastic security measures.

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III.33. On May 12, 2011 two other PRPD agents who also worked undercover in Operation Guard Shack denounced their situation on a radio talk show hosted by Carlos Daz Olivo and Luis Pabn Roca broadcasted by WKAQ 580 AM. Due to these denouncements, the general public knew about matters of public concern that involved high-ranking officials and regular officials in corruption within the PRPD, situation that was denounced by Plaintiff who was subjected to systematic retaliation that led to his dismissal. III.34. The next day Co-Defendant Jos Figueroa-Sancha who at the time was the PRPD Chief admitted to El Vocero newspaper that there had been administrative failures on behalf of the PRPD. III.35. The article added that upon listening to the allegation on radio Figueroa-Sancha met with Co-Defendants Digno Cartagena and Reinaldo Bermdez to order them to take the necessary actions. III.36. However, no corrective action was taken by them or any other officer, despite of the fact that all Co-Defendants knew about the criticsituation. On one occasion, at a meeting with the FBI Deputy SAIC Special Agent Carlos Cases, Plaintiff was informed that an achievement letter as well as a recommendation for promotion was personally handed to the PRPD for the heroic labor. Nevertheless, all Co-Defendants acted in a continuous retaliation against Plaintiff despite of his heroic labor, which finally led to his dismissal. III.37. On June 6, 2011, Plaintiff was informed by two FBI Agents (who are unidentified here for security reasons, and if required by the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, their names can be disclosed

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under seal) that the arrested officers who were at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo had contacted active duty police officers to request them to find and kill Plaintiff. III.38. Then FBI Special Agent X (who is unidentified here for security reasons, and if required by the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, their names can be disclosed under seal) called Plaintiff to inform him that they had recordings of the incarcerated officers stating that they had knowledge where Plaintiffs mother lived. III.39. This situation created a delicate health condition to Plaintiffs mother who was already under extreme pressure and nervous state. Not to mention Plaintiffs state of mind knowing that they had intention of killing his mother and brother. All Co-Defendants in retaliation did nothing for the

unexpected and horrible to happen against Plaintiff and his family. III.40. As a matter of fact, the Co-Defendant Guillermo Somoza

Colombani and Co-Defendant Jos Figueroa Sancha, as well as the other two PRPD Superintendents, (Co-Defendants Hctor Pesquera and Emilio Daz Coln); are responsible of providing security guards-escort to Plaintiff, and they refused to do so, placing Plaintiff in life danger in retaliation for his denouncements of public concern. III.41. During his appointment at PRPD HQ, Plaintiff was in numerous occasions told that he would meet personally with the Police Chief, however it never happened.

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III.42. This exact situation also happened to the other two undercover agents who participated in Operation Guardian Shack. III.43. The extreme hostile work environment by continuous retaliation against Plaintiff by his public concern denouncements, the lack of protection, and the entire situation in general caused by each Co-Defendant personally, forced Plaintiff to draft a resignation letter and send it to Jos FigueroaSancha, the PRPD Chief. III.44. Plaintiffs resignation letter was presented on June 8, 2011, and its effective date would be June 28, 2011. III.45. However, on June 27, 2011 Plaintiff requested his resignation to be revoked. III.46. Plaintiffs revocation request was granted on July 6, 2011 by CoDefendant Col. Reinaldo Bermdez. Thus, Plaintiffs belief is that he continued working at the force as to July 6, 2011. III.47. Surprisingly, although his revocation was granted, Plaintiff was still removed from the system. Evidence of this is a July 11, 2011 letter signed by Co-Defendant Lt. Cartagena which states that Co-Defendant Ms. Yadira Rivera Pabn, Director of Human Resources, proceeded to keep Plaintiffs resignation effective retroactively June 28, 2011, because she had not received an answer from the PRDPD Chief. III.47. In other words, Co-Defendant Ms. Yadira Rivera Pabn, motu proprio decided not to grant Plaintiffs revocation letter (although it was approved by Co-Defendant Col. Bermdez), and to make his resignation

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effective retroactively on June 28, 2011 based on the fact that the PRPD Chief had not signed his resignation letter. III.48. This seems contradictory, illegal and in clear retaliation to Plaintiffs disclosure of matters of public concern, since Co-Defendant Ms. Yadira Rivera Pabn is a civilian who cannot overturn decisions taken by highranking officers. III.49. Furthermore, it must be noted that Plaintiff also made an administrative complaint against Co-Defendant Noel Reyes by his retaliation actions of cutting Plaintiffs labor hours by his disclosure of matters of public concern, reason that also led to the final dismissal of Plaintiff, despite of the fact that he revoked his previous resignation. III.50. In addition, Plaintiff was not afforded of his right to a pretermination hearing prior to his dismissal by Co-Defendants, despite of the fact that he was a career employee, in a clear violation to his due process rights secured by the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. III.51. Suffice is to say that the U.S. Department of Justice issued a Report regarding the PRPD on September 5, 2011, which discloses all the corruption within said entity, situation that was previously disclosed in part by the Plaintiff, who was continuously harassed and subjected to systematic retaliation by each Co-Defendant personally, that led to his dismissal. III.52. Lastly, but not least, all this situation was personally known by the current Secretary of Justice, Guillermo Somoza Colombani, who with his ineptitude, inaction and acting under color of state law, condoned, acquiesced

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and affirmed the retaliatory actions against Plaintiff, by not protecting Plaintiff, and by his denouncements of matters of public concern, in a clear violation to Plaintiffs First Amendment Rights protected speech under federal and state law. IV. FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION VIOLATION OF FIRST AMENDMENT (FREE SPEECH) IV.1. Plaintiff repeats and incorporates all the allegations contained thus far as if set forth fully herein. IV.2. The aforementioned evidences that the defendants, under the color of law of their respective positions, have unconstitutionally violated the Plaintiffs right to free speech, in that they seek to punish them for speaking out against each one of the Co-Defendants. The denouncement is a matter of great public concern and their prosecution of the ongoing administration challenged Plaintiff until his resignation, later revoked by himself, and thereafter in another retaliation he was fired. IV.3. Plaintiff was unceasingly harassed, stripped of his functions, subjected to unnecessary, discriminatory and excessive disciplinary

proceedings as well as preclusion from promotions and continued employment in a clear retaliation of his denouncements of public concern matters, in a clear violation to his First Amendment Rights. IV.4. As a result of the Defendants unconstitutional and illegal conduct, Plaintiff has had his constitutional rights violated and this has caused irreparable and continuing harm, emotionally, economically in the amount of no less than $3,000,000.00 each.
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In addition, the Plaintiff prays for

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preliminary and permanent injunctive relief for reinstatement, in the form of monies lost and any applicable benefits, immediate reinstatement and prohibiting defendants from taking additional adverse employment actions because of his public statements. IV.5. Also, the Defendants act towards Plaintiff warrants the imposition of punitive damages, the award of attorneys fees and costs. V. V.1. SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION VIOLATION TO DUE PROCESS

Plaintiff repeats and incorporates all the allegations contained thus

far as set forth fully herein. V.2. Plaintiff was not afforded of his right to a pre-termination hearing

prior to his dismissal by Co-Defendants, despite of the fact that he was a career employee, in a clear violation to his due process rights secured by the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. V.3. In addition, the Plaintiff prays for preliminary and permanent

injunctive relief for reinstatement, in the form of monies lost and any applicable benefits, immediate reinstatement and prohibiting defendants from taking additional adverse employment actions because of his public statements and by the clear violation of Plaintiffs due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION LAWS OF PUERTO RICO Protection Against Employer Reprisal, Act No. 115 of December 20, 1991 29 P.R. Laws Ann. 194 VI.

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VI.1. Plaintiff repeats and incorporates all the allegations contained thus far as set forth fully herein. VI.2. The aforementioned facts demonstrate that each of the Defendants, as the Plaintiffs employer and/or supervisors, while under color of law of their respective positions, have willfully and/or with deliberate indifference violated the Commonwealth of Puerto Ricos Statute Law No. 115 of December 20, 1991 known as the Protection Against Employer Reprisal statute, (29 P.R. Laws Ann. 194) VI.3. As a result of the Defendants free speech First Amendment and retaliation violation, Plaintiff was discriminated in his employment, and said actions have caused irreparable and continuing harm, emotionally,

economically and in their civil rights, in the amount of no less than $1,000,000.00 each. permanent injunctive In addition, the Plaintiff prays for preliminary and relief prohibiting Defendants from affecting his

employment because of his public expressions against the Defendants illegal actions. VI.4. Also, the Defendants act towards the Plaintiff warrants the imposition of double damages, the award of attorneys fees and costs. VII. THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION LAWS AND CONSTITUTION OF PUERTO RICO VII.1. Plaintiff repeats and incorporates all the allegations contained thus far as set forth fully herein. The foregoing evidence that the Defendants, under color of law of their respective positions, have willfully and/or with deliberate indifference violated the Plaintiffs rights under the Constitution and laws of the
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Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, specifically Sections 1, 4, 6 and 7 of Article II of the Constitution of Puerto Rico; and the Public Service Personnel laws of Puerto Rico; Act No. 184, of August 3, 2004, as amended, PR Laws Ann. Tit. 3; and Articles 1802 and 1803 of the Civil Code 5141 and 5142 of Title 31; and Law 100 of June 26, 1956. VII.2. As a result of the Defendants unconstitutional and illegal conduct, Plaintiff has been discriminatorily treated in his employment, and caused irreparable and continuing harm, emotionally, economically and in his civil rights, in the amount of no less than $1,000,000.00 each. In addition, Plaintiff prays for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief prohibiting Defendants from affecting their employment. VIII. JURY DEMAND VIII.1.Trial by Jury is requested in all causes of action. PRAYER FOR RELIEF WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully prays that the Court: 1. Find that the Defendants have violated Plaintiffs rights under the

First and Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution; as well as under the laws and Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and enter declaratory judgment to that effect; 2. Grant preliminary and permanent injunction prohibiting,

restraining and enjoining the Defendants, agents or anyone acting in concert with them or pursuant to their orders, or their successors in any representative capacity from violating any Constitutional and statutory rights of the Plaintiff;

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3.

Award

damages

to

Plaintiff

in

an

amount

no

less

than

$5,000,000.00 each for pain and suffering and other damages suffered as a result of the Defendants unconstitutional conduct; 4. Award punitive damages to Plaintiff in an amount in such amount

as may be deemed appropriate; 5. 6. 1988; 7. 8. proper. RESPECTFULLY SUBMITTED. In San Juan, Puerto Rico, this 2nd day of July, 2012. NOTICE OF ELECTRONIC FILING IT IS HEREBY CERTIFIED: That on this date I electronically filed the foregoing with the Clerk of the Court using the CM/ECF system, which will send notification of such filing to all attorneys of record. COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF VALENZUELA-ALVARADO, LLC MCS Plaza 255 Ponce de Len Avenue Suite 825 San Juan, Puerto Rico 00917-1942 Tel. (787) 365-9401 Fax: (787) 756-4053 www.va-lex.com Grant Plaintiff back and front pay, and/or reinstatement; Award such other and further relief as may be deemed just and Award pre judgment and post judgment interest; Award Plaintiff attorneys fees and costs pursuant to 42 U.S.C.

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S/Jos Enrico Valenzuela-Alvarado JOS ENRICO VALENZUELA-ALVARADO USDC-PR 220104 E-mails: jose.enrico.valenzuela1@gmail.com v.a@lawyer.com enricovalenzuela@hotmail.com

STATEMENT UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY AS PER 18 USCA 1746(2)

I,

ALWIN CAMACHO-MORALES, declare under penalty of perjury that I

have examined the Verified Complaint prepared in the instant matter and understand and attest, to the best of my knowledge, that the same is true and correct as to the general facts and those particular facts to my case. That I have had the benefit of having the document translated to me and I am satisfied with the same.

S/Alwin Camacho-Morales

ALWIN CAMACHO-MORALES

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